Illegal Logging Newsletter

April 10, 2015 ,

CONTENTS

  1. Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012
  2. Flowchart & Importer Authority for Customs Broker to answer Illegal Logging Prohibition CPQ
  3. Upcoming Quarantine Seminar
  4. Additional Information

 

1. Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012

The Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012 and high-level prohibition are already in place. The new due diligence requirements, as outlined in the Illegal Logging Prohibition Amendment Regulation 2013, will come into effect on 30 November 2014. Under the Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012, it is now a criminal offence to import illegally logged timber and timber products into Australia or to process domestically grown raw logs that have been illegally logged. This prohibition applies to all timber and timber products. The new due diligence requirements that come into effect on 30 November 2014 relate to a more defined list of timber products. These are called regulated timber products and are listed in Schedule 1 of the Regulation. This includes most timber and wood-based products such as sawn timber, veneer, mouldings, wood panels, plywood, pulp, paper and wooden furniture. Even if a good is regulated, it will be outside the scope of the due diligence requirements if:

  • it has a combined customs value of less than AUD$1,000
  • it is made of recycled material.

The illegal logging laws affect two key groups:

  • businesses who import timber and timber products into Australia
  • Australian-based businesses that process domestically grown raw logs into another form.

If you are importing timber or timber products into Australia or processing domestically grown raw logs and you receive information that the timber involved was illegally logged, or you have reason to suspect it was illegally logged, or you think that there is a significant risk that it was illegally logged, you should not import or process that timber. Australian businesses should be aware that, under the Act, significant criminal penalties may apply if they knowingly, intentionally or recklessly import or process illegally logged timber. Penalties are ultimately at the discretion of a court. However, the maximum penalties that can be applied for a breach of the high-level prohibition are:

  • five years imprisonment, and/or
  • AUD$85,000 for an individual, and/or
  • AUD$425,000 for a corporation or body corporate.

The Act and Regulation are managed and enforced by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture. Twenty-three inspectors are currently appointed under the Act to monitor, investigate and enforce alleged breaches of the illegal logging laws. From 30 November 2014, importers of regulated timber products will be asked to make a declaration to Customs about their compliance with their due diligence obligations. This will be in the form of a Community Protection Question on the full import declaration form. This is likely to be a simple yes or no question. (Answers on your behalf are supplied upon lodgement of the Import Declaration by your clearance agent/broker). Evidence to support the answer regarding due diligence and legality of the timber source will need to be supplied to us as your clearance agent/broker. You will need to answer the Community Protection Question honestly. Answering no to the question will not lead to your timber products being held up at the border. However, it may lead to further questions from the department and follow up action. The department will provide additional information on the declaration process once the Community Protection Question has been finalised.

 

2. Flowchart & Importer Authority for Customs Broker to answer Illegal Logging Prohibition CPQ From the 30th of November, as your broker we will be required to answer the below Community Protection Question on your behalf when lodging the Customs Declaration. In order for us to answer this question we will require authority to do so in the form of a declaration (please refer to the attached flow chart and declaration attached). Question # 510: HAS THE IMPORTER COMPLIED WITH THE DUE DILIGENCE REQUIREMENTS OF THE ILLEGAL LOGGING PROHIBITION ACT 2012 AND ASSOCIATED REGULATIONS? The declaration can be issued on a consignment by consignment basis or a declaration covering a timeframe of shipments including all supplier and product information relating to any product listed as Regulated Timber Products.

 

3. Upcoming Quarantine Seminar (taken from NNF 2014/139 Department of Agriculture Industry Information Sessions notice)

“The Department of Agriculture will host a series of industry information sessions across Australia throughout October – November 2014. The free sessions will be presented by senior representatives from the department’s Compliance Division, local regional managers and Forestry Branch and will cover a range of issues that will be of interest to both customs brokers and commercial importers.

Information session details
Adelaide Monday 3 November  The Lakes Resort Hotel

Session 2 – Illegal Logging Laws – New Due Diligence Requirements 2:30 pm registration for a 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm presentation

Registration

To register, email bordercompliancecoordination@agriculture.gov.au with the following information.

which session you are attending ·

full names of all people attending the session ·

company/business name ·

company address details ·

email address/es ·

your industry sector.

Registration is for catering. For more information visit the Department of Agriculture website: agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity/about/public-awareness/information-sessions

 

4. Additional Information

Further Information (Factsheets, Guidance & Guidelines):

http://www.agriculture.gov.au/forestry/policies/illegal-logging/information-resources

 

All above information has been sourced from:

http://www.agriculture.gov.au/forestry/policies/illegal-logging/faqs

 

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