FLEG II organized research to access Russian timber suppliers’ awareness level of the EUTR and its requirements and due diligence procedures, understand reflections of Russian companies on consequences of this regulation on their businesses and perceptions on EUTR’s effectiveness to contribute tackling the illegal logging problem in Russia. The methodology for the research was developed by WWF Russia in partnership with the Levada Analytical Center and NEPCon.
Regulation (EU) No. 995/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 October, 2010 laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market came into effect across the EU on 3 March, 2013. EUTR lays down obligations on operators to introduce a due diligence system to evaluate the risks of timber harvested in breach of applicable legislation of a country of harvest or timber products derived from such timber being placed on the market and to minimize these risks.
Senior staff of 100 forest sector companies (logging, timber processing and trade) only those exporting to the EU countries either directly or through supply chains participated in the survey. The questionnaire was highly detailed and contained 40 questions. The opinion poll took place from October 13 till December 3, 2014.
The survey shows that even though the businesses appear quite aware of the EUTR, there is a huge gap in their interpretation of the essence of the new regulations seeking combating illegal logging and of how they should be implemented. The results of the survey will be brought to the attention of the Commission, competent authorities, monitoring organizations, operators and NGOs. Hopefully this information will help to bring more action to improve implementation of the EUTR and make it a real force to tackle illegal logging in timber producing countries. We hope that based on the survey outcomes, the Russian forestry businesses will enjoy more information support as a way to help them adjust their operations to the updated EU context and to start implementing the due diligence systems for efficient timber origin legality verification.