Prepare for the rules that will apply to buying and selling timber and timber products from 1 January 2021.
New rules for January 2021
The UK has left the EU, and the transition period after Brexit comes to an end this year.
This page tells you what you’ll need to do from 1 January 2021. It will be updated if anything changes.
You can also read about the transition period.
This guidance does not apply to UK businesses moving goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland. Further information will be added to GOV.UK in the coming weeks. Find out more about Moving goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021.
From 1 January 2021, you’ll need to follow different processes for trading timber and timber products (timber) currently covered by EU law.
The UK will have its own law for trading timber. This law will have the same requirements as existing EU rules.
Importing timber for the UK market
From 1 January 2021, you’ll need to show imports from the EU and European Economic Area (EEA) have been legally harvested.
Businesses must follow these regulations now when they import timber from non-EU and EEA countries.
To show you’re importing legally harvested timber, you’ll need to carry out due diligence. Use the due diligence checklist to make sure you:
- gather information on the timber – its species, quantity, supplier, country of harvest and how it complies with relevant laws
- assess the risk of timber being illegal by applying the legal criteria
- mitigate any identified risk, by getting more information or taking further actions to confirm the timber is legal
If the timber has a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) import permit, the UK will recognise it as legally harvested. You will not need to carry out due diligence on this timber.
You’ll still need to carry out due diligence to confirm the timber is legally harvested if you’re:
- a business importing from non-EU or EEA countries
- a UK producer placing timber on the market for the first time
- carrying out internal UK trade
Exporting to the EU and EEA
If you’re exporting timber to the EU or EEA, you may need to supply documentation about the source and legality of your timber. This is so EU and EEA-based customers can meet the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) due diligence rules. Due diligence systems will vary business by business.
You will not need to take any additional action at the border from 1 January 2021.
Importing from the UK with a CITES permit
EU and EEA businesses importing timber covered by a CITES permit will not need to carry out due diligence.
Standards and enforcement
The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) will still:
- verify Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) licences
- check business records
The government is working with non-EU and EEA countries to make sure FLEGT licences are still recognised in the UK from 1 January 2021.
The UK will still recognise monitoring organisations based in the UK. These are independent bodies which carry out due diligence on timber. They’ll still support UK timber standards.
The UK will not automatically recognise EU or EEA monitoring organisations from 1 January 2021.
The EU has indicated it will no longer recognise monitoring organisations based in the UK from 1 January 2021.