High-quality WISA plywood is manufactured from wood raw material sourced only from sustainably managed forests with legal logging operations.
The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union has brought some changes to buying and selling timber and timber products in Great Britain. Since the beginning of 2021, the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) has been replaced by the UK Timber Regulation (UKTR) in England, Scotland and Wales while Northern Ireland remains subject to EUTR.
EUTR and UKTR both have the same purpose of preventing the trade of illegally harvested timber. Their requirements are also broadly similar with one important difference: under the UKTR, importers of timber and timber products from EU countries are now considered ‘operators’ instead of their previous status as ‘traders’.
“The change means that UPM Plywood’s mills in Finland, Estonia and Russia are now all considered operators for the purposes of UKTR. At UPM Plywood we acknowledge this role and have taken all appropriate actions to comply with the requirements in UKTR,“ says Sanna Kontinen, Environmental Manager at UPM Plywood.
Information required by UKTR available
According to UKTR, an operator is banned from placing illegally harvested timber or timber products on the market in Great Britain. For timber to be considered legal it must have been harvested without contravening any of the applicable legislation in the country of origin.
An operator must also exercise ‘due diligence’ when placing timber on the GB market. The key elements of a required ‘due diligence system’ are information describing the timber and timber products, assessment of the risk of illegal timber in the supply chain and the related risk mitigation procedures. Information about due diligence checks must be provided on request to the Office for Product Safety and Standards, which is authorised to ensure compliance with UKTR within Great Britain and EUTR in Northern Ireland.
“UPM is committed to sustainable forestry. UPM Forest is our sole supplier of wood raw material and has a due diligence system in place. The wood supplies are also covered by third-party verified chain of custody certificates under the FSC® and PEFC™,” Kontinen says.
“This means that we know the origin of all the wood we use and can provide the relevant information required by UKTR.”
TEXT: Janne Suokas