Ban on import of illegally-logged timber

A ban on the import and sale of illegally-logged timber will enter into force on 3 March 2013. The ban also applies to products made from this wood, such as window frames, garden furniture and fences.

Importers who flout the ban may be punished with community service, a maximum fine of €79,000 or a prison sentence of up to two years. In addition, the goods may be forfeited, or trading operations may be temporarily suspended. The announcement was made today by Minister for Agriculture Sharon Dijksma.

Combating deforestation

Until now, timber that is illegally logged in the land of origin may be imported to the Netherlands, and this also applies to products derived from this wood. 'The import ban helps combat deforestation,' said Minister Dijksma. 'It ensures plants and animals in forests are better protected, as well as the people who depend on forests for their daily needs.'

Monitoring compliance

In the Netherlands there are some 5,000 companies that will fall under the new law, and as of 3 March 2013 they will be required to demonstrate the origin of their timber. Compliance will be monitored by the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority.