Illegal logging law poorly applied

European governments are failing to implement and enforce regulations to prevent sale of products made from illegally sourced timber, according to the European commission. 

The EU Timber Regulation came into force in March 2013 and prohibits companies placing illegally harvested timber or products made from such timber on the market. It also requires companies placing timber products on the EU market for the first time to exercise due diligence, and for traders in timber and timber products to keep records of suppliers and customers. 

But an evaluation of the first two years of the law by the commission found patchy implementation across member states. All countries except Spain have designated an authority to monitor compliance, but the legal powers, status and financial resources of these institutions varies widely. 

The number of staff working on compliance ranges from just one to 200, according to member states’ own reports. Some countries have allocated no extra financial resource ...

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