Intergraf calls for inclusion of printed products in EU Timber Regs

Jo Francis
Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Intergraf has backed calls for printed products to be included in the EU Timber Regulation aimed at combating illegal logging.

EU forestry owners are subject to certification schemes.  Image: CEPF
EU forestry owners are subject to certification schemes. Image: CEPF

The EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) was adopted a decade ago, but its scope did not extend to printed products.

Intergraf, the Brussels-based umbrella organisation for printing industry associations, said that the European Commission was “currently evaluating the EUTR and its scope", with Intergraf strongly supporting the European Parliament’s call to ensure that printed products are covered.

The organisation described the EUTR as one of the European Union’s key measures to combat illegal logging. Its aim is to prevent timber products that derive from illegally sourced forests being sold on the European market.

“Many paper-based products are already covered by the regulation, but printed products are not. Millions of euros worth of printed products therefore still enter the European market without any assurance on the safe sourcing of their paper,” Intergraf stated.

Beatrice Klose, Intergraf secretary general, said that illegal logging damaged the reputation of the printing industry and of printed products overall.

“It is not acceptable that the reputation of European companies is tarnished because of illegally sourced wood content in printed products that are placed on the European market. Moreover, it is important that European consumers can trust that any printed products found on the European market do not contain any illegally sourced wood.”

Intergraf policy adviser Laetitia Reynaud said that if the scope of the EUTR were to be extended, it would “not create additional regulatory burdens for European printers” because the paper and board they purchase is compliant.

“Instead, it would secure that imported printed products offer the same guarantee as European products.”

The WWF states that some proposed new pulpwood plantations and mills elsewhere in the world threaten natural habitats in regions with high conservation values and high rates of illegal logging.

“For example, the remaining natural forests and associated wildlife species in Borneo and Sumatra, Papua New Guinea, the Russian Far East, Southern Chile and the Atlantic forest region in Brazil are all at risk because of growing demand for pulpwood.”

The EU Forestry Strategy, first adopted in 1998, puts forward as its overall principles the application of sustainable forest management and the multifunctional role of forests.

The Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF) says that 4m workers are involved in forestry value chains in Europe. 

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