Fri, July 09, 2010
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EU tightens timber rules

2010-07-09 06:14:33 GMT2010-07-09 14:14:33 (Beijing Time)

The European Parliament bans the import of illegal timber, which it estimates could represent up to a fifth of the timber in the 27-country bloc.

Member's of the European parliament have voted to tighten restrictions on the use of illegal timber.

Until now it has not been against the law to sell timber in Europe even if it was felled illegally elsewhere in the world.

The Parliament says as much of a fifth of timber imports to the 27-country bloc could be illegal.

But now such sales will be banned and it will be timber traders' responsibility to ensure that wood has been obtained in line with the laws of the country of its origin.

Each operator along the timber supply chain will need to declare where they bought it and to whom they sold it.

Environmental bodies believe the new EU rules will level the playing field for responsible timber dealers who already won't trade illegally felled trees.

The decision is set to be formally endorsed by EU leaders at a summit later this year and become law by 2012.

Penny Tweedie, Reuters.

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