A government survey has confirmed claims by the UK’s wood panel products industry that a high proportion of imported plywood from China fails to meet the requirements of the EU Timber Regulations.
Government survey finds EUTR non-compliance among Chinese plywood imports
Published: 12 March, 2015
An official survey by the UK government’s National Measurement Office (NMO) has confirmed claims by the UK’s wood panel products industry that a high proportion of imported plywood from China fails to meet the requirements of the EU Timber Regulations (EUTR).
The NMO carried out its study in response to industry concerns and in light of the fact that the long supply chains involved with tropical plywood production mean the product represents an area of high risk of non-compliance.
Sixteen companies, identified as operators that place Chinese plywood onto the UK market, were asked to supply the due diligence systems for the Chinese plywood they import to the UK. Article 6 of the EUTR outlines an obligation to implement a due diligence system.
Of the 16 companies contacted, 14 submitted due diligence systems that were insufficient. In the majority of cases, there was insufficient evidence to show that the importer had done enough to satisfy itself that the timber in the plywood was sourced legally. As well as interviewing the companies, the researchers also purchased samples of the companies’ products and carried out microscopic analysis to ascertain the species of wood used in the products.
Of the 13 samples, nine did not match the declaration supplied by each company regarding the species contained within the plywood. In all, only one company was found to be compliant with the EUTR with regard to both due diligence and product testing.