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    Commission implementing Regulation (EU) No 607/2012 of 6 July 2012 on the detailed rules concerning the due diligence system and the frequency and nature of the checks on monitoring organisations as provided for in Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 of the Europ DETAIL
    Commission ...

    Official Journal of the European Union L 177/16 COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) No 607/2012 of 6 July 2012 on the detailed rules concerning the due diligence system and the frequency and nature of the checks on monitoring organisations as provided for in Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market (Text with EEA relevance) THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION, Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Having regard to Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 October 2010 laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market (1), and in particular Articles 6(2) and 8(8) thereof, Whereas: (1) Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 obliges operators to use a framework of procedures and measures (hereinafter referred to as a due diligence system) in order to minimise the risk of placing illegally harvested timber or products derived from illegally harvested timber on the internal market. (2) It is necessary to clarify cases in which information on the full scientific name of tree species, the sub-national region where the timber was harvested and the concession of harvest needs to be provided. (3) It is necessary to specify the frequency and nature of checks that the competent authorities need to carry out on monitoring organisations. (4) Protection of individuals with regard to the processing of their personal data within the scope of this Regulation, in particular as regards the processing of personal data obtained in the context of checks is subject to the requirements laid down in Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (2) and to Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data (3). (5) The measures provided for in this Regulation are in accordance with the opinion of the Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade Committee, HAS ADOPTED THIS REGULATION: Article 1 Subject matter This Regulation lays down detailed rules concerning the due diligence system and the frequency and the nature of the checks on monitoring organisations. Article 2 Application of the due diligence system 1.   Operators shall apply the due diligence system to each specific type of timber or timber product supplied by a particular supplier within a period not exceeding 12 months, provided that the tree species, the country or countries of harvest or, where applicable, the sub-national region(s) and concession(s) of harvest remain unchanged. 2.   The first paragraph is without prejudice to operator’s obligation to maintain measures and procedures providing access to the information referred to in Article 6(1)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 concerning each consignment of timber and timber products placed on the market by the operator. Article 3 Information concerning the operator’s supply 1.   The information on operator’s supply of timber or timber products referred to in Article (6)(1)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 shall be provided in accordance with paragraphs 2, 3 and 4. 2.   The full scientific name of the tree species referred to in the first indent of Article 6(1)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 shall be provided where ambiguity in the use of the common name exists. 3.   Information on the sub-national region referred to in the second indent of Article 6(1)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 shall be provided where the risk of illegal harvesting between sub-national regions varies. 4.   Information on the concession of harvest referred to in the second indent of Article 6(1)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 shall be provided where the risk of illegal harvesting between concessions of harvest in a country or sub-national region varies. For the purposes of the first subparagraph, any arrangement conferring the right to harvest timber in a defined area shall be considered a concession of harvest. Article 4 Risk assessment and mitigation Certification or other third-party verified schemes referred to in the first indent of the second paragraph of Article 6(1)(b) and in Article 6(1)(c) of Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 may be taken into account in the risk assessment and risk mitigation procedures where they meet the following criteria: (a) they have established and made available for third-party use a publicly available system of requirements, which system shall at the least include all relevant requirements of the applicable legislation; (b) they specify that appropriate checks, including field-visits, are made by a third party at regular intervals no longer than 12 months to verify that the applicable legislation is complied with; (c) they include means, verified by a third party, to trace timber harvested in accordance with applicable legislation, and timber products derived from such timber, at any point in the supply chain before such timber or timber products are placed on the market; (d) they include controls, verified by a third party, to ensure that timber or timber products of unknown origin, or timber or timber products which have not been harvested in accordance with applicable legislation, do not enter the supply chain. Article 5 Record keeping by operators 1.   Information concerning the operator’s supply as provided for in Article 6(1)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 and application of risk mitigation procedures shall be documented through adequate records, which shall be stored for five years and made available for checks by the competent authority. 2.   In applying their due diligence system operators shall be able to demonstrate how the information gathered was checked against the risk criteria provided for in Article 6(1)(b) of Regulation (EU) No 995/2010, how a decision on risk mitigation measures was taken and how the operator determined the degree of risk. Article 6 Frequency and nature of checks on monitoring organisations 1.   The competent authorities shall ensure that the checks at regular intervals referred to in Article 8(4) of Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 are carried out at least once every two years. 2.   Checks referred to in Article 8(4) of Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 shall be carried out in particular in any of the following cases: (a) where a competent authority has, while carrying out checks on operators, detected shortcomings in the effectiveness or implementation by operators of the due diligence system established by a monitoring organisation; (b) where the Commission has informed the competent authorities that a monitoring organisation has undergone subsequent changes as provided for in Article 9(2) of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 363/2012 of 23 February 2012 on the procedural rules for the recognition and withdrawal of recognition of monitoring organisations as provided for in Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market (4). 3.   Checks shall be carried out without prior warning, except where prior notification of the monitoring organisation is necessary in order to ensure the effectiveness of the checks. 4.   The competent authorities shall carry out checks in accordance with documented procedures. 5.   Competent authorities shall carry out checks to ensure compliance with Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 that shall include, in particular and as appropriate, the following activities: (a) spot checks, including field audits; (b) examination of documentation and records of monitoring organisations; (c) interviews with the management and staff of the monitoring organisation; (d) interviews with operators and traders or any other relevant person; (e) examination of documentation and records of operators; (f) examination of samples of the supply of operators using the due diligence system of the monitoring organisation concerned. Article 7 Reports of the checks on monitoring organisations 1.   The competent authorities shall draw up reports on individual checks that they have carried out, which shall include a description of the process and techniques applied and their findings and conclusions. 2.   The competent authorities shall provide a monitoring organisation that has been subject to a check with the findings and conclusions of the draft report. The monitoring organisation may provide comments to the competent authorities within the time limit specified by the competent authorities. 3.   The competent authorities shall draw up reports referred to in Article 8(4) of Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 on the basis of the reports on individual checks. Article 8 Entry into force This Regulation shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States. Done at Brussels, 6 July 2012. For the Commission The President José Manuel BARROSO (1)  OJ L 295, 12.11.2010, p. 23. (2)  OJ L 281, 23.11.1995, p. 31. (3)  OJ L 8, 12.1.2001, p. 1. (4)  OJ L 115, 27.4.2012, p. 12. Top

    What legal and non-legal requirements must my product comply with? DETAIL
    What legal and ...

    When exporting to Europe you have to comply with the following legally binding requirements: European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR): controlling the legal origin of timber All timber imported into the European Union needs to come from verifiable legal sources. European buyers that place timber or timber products on the market have to show due diligence. You can do this on the basis of long-term contracts, or separately for every container you ship. In addition the EUTR forces operators to trace their products back to the source. This means that when suppliers supply legal timber, but cannot provide well-documented guarantees of legality, they will not be able to supply the European Union market. The easiest way to prove compliance is through a voluntary legality verification system or regular sustainable forest management certification (provided by the Forestry Stewardship Council, FSC). The EUTR is part of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan. Another part of the plan is the Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs). These are voluntary trade agreements between the European Union and timber exporting countries. If a given country is fully implementing its national control scheme, it receives a European FLEGT license, and all timber exported from that country is considered legal. Note, however, that FLEGT does not prove sustainability, nor does it address deforestation; only legality. At this moment, European buyers consider sustainability certification important, and EUTR essential. Consumers will only ask for more sustainable products in the future, when informed about the difference between “legal” and “sustainable”. Enforced sustainable forest management could be the next step after EUTR.  For now, the European Union is working on a stricter implementation of the EUTR. Regardless of the delays in implementation in many countries, most large and professional buyers comply with the requirements in the EUTR, and are asking their suppliers to prove legal origin of timber. Compliance is especially common in North and West European Union countries where there is a strong commitment towards legality and sustainability. However in these regions (smaller) buyers can also be less pro-active and not yet fully compliant. Check the EU-EFI website for the current status of your and competing countries. Tips: With the implementation of the EUTR the European Union is less than ever a market for incidental selling. In case you decide to keep selling to the European Union market keep in mind that legality assurance is an essential aspect of trade together with price and quality. More information is provided by the Guidance Document for the EUTR. Read more about control on illegal timber and timber products in the EU Export Helpdesk. The European Timber Trade Federation and EU FLEGT facility provides regular s about the status of the implementation of the EUTR. For establishing long-term business relations suppliers are advised not to wait for the EUTR and FLEGT systems to be fully up and running, but to be pro-active and ensure full transparency and legal sourcing and even take your own measures to this end if necessary. Product safety The European Union General Product Safety Directive applies to all consumer products. For finished products (for instance, furniture) or parts of a finished product, product specific legislation can apply to the final product depending on its final use. The General Product Safety Directive can therefore be complemented by harmonised safety requirements for specific products (for instance, outdoor furniture, cribs, cradles: see overview of the Safety Directive). The obligation of complying will firstly be the responsibility of the European company that places the finished product on the market. However, they will often ask their suppliers to comply with the requirements. For suppliers of parts this can translate into demand for more information, test reports or compliance with standards. Tip: To get a better understanding of reasons behind the confiscations of products by European Union customs authorities refer to the EU’s Rapid Alert System database Conformité Européenne (CE) marking for timber products used in construction Timber or timber products that are permanently incorporated into construction works will have to be CE-marked: this applies to windows, doors, frames, industrial flooring and parquet, stairs, glued laminated timber, panels (plywood etcetera), cladding and structural timber. This marking shows that the products comply with harmonised requirements regarding mechanical resistance, stability, fire safety, hygiene, health and the environment. Manufacturers of the above-mentioned construction products have had to provide a “Declaration of Performance” (DoP) since July 2013. As it is not common for exporters from developing countries to supply finished timber construction products to the European Union, the CE requirement will probably not apply to you as a supplier of timber parts. But if you are a “component” supplier, you will have to provide your buyer with information on the basic properties of your product. Tips: For a detailed explanation of CE and CE marking, check the corresponding European Union website for legislation or the easy-to-use CE manual. You can also search for your own product and confirm the CE validity date. Visit the website of the ‘Swedish Wood Support’ for an example of a Declaration of Performance. Read more about CE marking of construction products on the EU Export Helpdesk. This Helpdesk lists all requirements for all timber and timber products in Chapter 44, and you can your product code to find the information you require. CITES In case you are supplying endangered timber species you will only be able to harvest and export them if they are on the list of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and if you have obtained a CITES permit. With a CITES permit you automatically comply with the requirements of the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) and your timber is considered to be legally harvested. Tip: To check if your timber specie is included in the CITES-list go to of Annexes A, B and C of the CITES-Regulation. Read more about CITES – Endangered Species Protection on the EU Export Helpdesk. Chemicals in timber: REACH The preservatives arsenic, creosotes and mercury are used to prevent rot, and improve the durability of timber, especially that used in outdoor applications. The European ‘Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH)’ regulation does not allow the use of these preservatives, with some exceptions, such as wood used in industrial installations, or as railway sleepers. There are also restrictions for wood (for instance, doors, window frames, and floor parts) treated with certain oils, glue varnishes, and lacquers that may contain harmful substances. For example, painted articles shall not be placed on the market if the concentration of cadmium is equal to or greater than 0.1% by weight of the paint on the painted article. There are also restrictions for the use of chemicals in processing. Buyers are increasingly implementing sustainable practices in their own company, but also their supply chain. Therefore, they can ask you to also comply with these requirements regarding the use of chemicals during processing and production (for instance,  volatile organic compounds (VOCs) used in coatings, formaldehyde and pentachlorophenol). The main guidelines for the timber sector are listed briefly below: Painted and lacquered items such as furniture and toys may be a problem. Use of water-based products free from lead and mercury will avoid most problems. Wood products treated with creosotes are prohibited by the European Union. The use and marketing of arsenic and all chromated copper compounds, including Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA), Copper Chrome Boron (CCB) and Copper Chrome Fluoride (CCF), in wood preservatives are no longer allowed. Natural oils for garden furniture protection can be used in almost all cases. But still, check the of your oil on the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) website. Tips: Make sure to ask your buyers what their policies on chemicals are, and what they expect from you. Check the websites of the ECHA and the European Union to read more about REACH. ECHA also maintains an ECHA database where you can check the status of the chemical you use. Guidance notes on creosote and arsenic can also be found on the Timber Trade Federation website. Visit the European Union website on reduction of emissions and substitution of solvents to learn more about how to reduce VOCs. Packaging and the use of the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures 15 (ISPM) packaging logo There is also non-product-specific legislation on packaging that applies to all goods marketed in the European Union. All wooden packaging material (mostly pallets) you use must display the ISPM 15 logo, together with your unique identification number if you produce the packaging material yourself. If you do not produce the material yourself, you will need to buy it from a licensed producer in your country. Producers are licensed by the National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO) in your country. Licensed packaging material includes cases, boxes, crates, drums and similar packing, pallets, box pallets and other load boards, and pallet collars. All wood used in this material must be debarked and heat-treated (HT). This means applying a minimum wood core temperature of 56°C for a minimum of 30 minutes. Kiln drying (KD), chemical pressure impregnation (CPI) or other treatments may be considered HT treatments, as long as they meet HT specifications. Alternatively, fumigation with methyl bromide (MB) at a minimum temperature of 10°C and a minimum exposure time of 24 hours, is also allowed. Tip: Contact the National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO) in your country to find the addresses of licensed packaging producers.

    What additional requirements do buyers often have? DETAIL
    What additional ...

    2 . What additional requirements do buyers often have? Next to the legally binding requirements, you may also have to comply with the following non-legal requirements in order to be able to find a buyer: Sustainable forest management Sustainably produced timber goes much further than focusing on the legality of timber and encompasses many more elements relating to environmental, economic and social facts and impact of your forest or company management. Sustainable forest management has become commonplace in the market for non-tropical timber. Although the share of certified timber is growing, this is less the case in the market for tropical timber. Sustainable forest management is, however, especially relevant for tropical timber, due to concerns about deforestation and global warming. A particularly high proportion of timber and timber products from sustainable sources is marketed in Northern and Western European countries. This proportion is still growing, but is generally lower in the market for tropical timber and tropical timber products. Some importers foresee a reduction of sales for sustainably produced timber because buyers will judge that legal is good enough, but others state that the demand for sustainable timber remains unchanged. There are two main certifications: the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). At the moment, FSC is the most widely used scheme for certification of tropical timber forests. Tips: To get a better understanding of what sustainable forest management is refer to principles and guiding criteria of FSC and PEFC. Please be aware that as a supplier of sustainably certified timber you will need to obtain a Chain-of-Custody (CoC) certificate. This also means that you have to target buyers that have a CoC-certificate as well, because these are allowed to sell your certified timber. Non-certified buyers, in contrast, are not allowed to sell certified timber. Find out what is necessary to obtain a CoC-certification. The website of the Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) provides a GFTN roadmap to certification. To find European or local buyers (e.g. importers, processors and retailers) and suppliers of certified timber and timber products go to FSC Global Marketplace and PEFC database. Consult the Standards Map database for more information on the FSC and PEFC. Check the Standards Map videos to see how Standards Map can help you to determine which initiatives may be useful for your company. Corporate responsibility Importing companies often also need to address other issues than the origin of wood. European buyers (especially those in western and northern European countries) pay more and more attention to their corporate responsibilities regarding the social and environmental impact of their business. This also affects traders and processors. Important issues are: Respect for indigenous rights, land owner’s rights, environmental performance in general (pollution, waste etc), respecting labour laws and healthy and safe working conditions. Many European companies in the timber and timber sector have policies addressing these issues. Part of these polices can be to ask their suppliers to address these issues. They can ask their suppliers to abide to a code of conduct, or sign suppliers declarations to ensure compliance with applicable local laws and regulations, industry minimum standards, International Labour Organisation (ILO) and UN Conventions. Tips: Train your workers on how to work more efficiently and reduce the generation of waste and emissions. For more information read Wood processing and furniture making: Cleaner production fact sheet and resource guide. Refer to the factsheet health and safety management in the woodworking industry by the Building and Wood workers International association (BWI). Refer to the Less Dust Guide from the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) to reduce wood dust in the workplace. Ask your European buyer about its suppliers’ policy with regard to labour standards. Do not forget to find out how these standards are supposed to be monitored and/or evaluated. It is possible to implement a sustainability certification for continuous process improvement: ISO 14000 (environment), OHSAS 18001 (health and safety) and SA8000 (labour standards). What are the requirements for niche markets? Next to the requirements you have to comply with to be allowed on the European market and / or to find a buyer, complying with the following additional requirements could offer you a competitive advantage and makes finding a buyer easier: Eco-label for timber Eco-labels do not only focus on sustainable sourcing, but also on other aspects of the products: processing (for instance,  energy consumption, waste management), packaging and the use of chemicals. There are several eco-labels but the most widely recognized is the European “Eco-Label” which is available for floor coverings and furniture. The number of certified products has grown in recent years but the market is still small. Tip: For facts and figures on the use of the EU Eco-Label refer to the EU ECO label website. Dual certification Smallholders and communities often face tough competition in the global timber market. FSC is looking to differentiate products from communities and smallholders in the marketplace. Dual certification of FSC and Fair Trade has been tested and is available. In addition to sustainable forest managements practices (FSC), extra attention is paid to the social conditions in the producing areas (the Fair Trade part). FSC/Fairtrade timber is sold with a Fairtrade premium which allows an extra 10% of the total value of the wood to be paid to the certified smallholder communities concerned. The market for dual certification seems to be small. Tip: The website of FSC has more information about FSC dual certification. ISO 14001 The ISO 14001 standard considers multiple aspects of your business procurement, storage, distribution, product development, manufacturing, et cetera.- so that it reduces its impact on the environment. It also drives you to evaluate how you manage emergency response, customer expectations, stakeholders and your relationships with your local community. Such certification can result in a more efficient business with less cost and with substantial waste reductions. It can also convince your buyers of your professionalism, because ISO is worldwide recognizes as a respectable certification organisation. Tip: The ISO website explains more details about ISO 14001 and other ISO standards.

    Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market adopted on 20 October 2010 and published in the Official Journal on 12 November 2010. DETAIL
    Regulation of the ...

    Official Journal of the European Union L 295/23 REGULATION (EU) No 995/2010 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 20 October 2010 laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market (Text with EEA relevance) THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN , Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 192(1) thereof, Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission, Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (1), After consulting the Committee of the Regions, Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure (2), Whereas: (1) Forests provide a broad variety of environmental, economic and social benefits including timber and non-timber forest products and environmental services essential for humankind, such as maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem functions and protecting the climate system. (2) Due to the growing demand for timber and timber products worldwide, in combination with the institutional and governance deficiencies that are present in the forest sector in a number of timber-producing countries, illegal logging and the associated trade have become matters of ever greater concern. (3) Illegal logging is a pervasive problem of major international concern. It poses a significant threat to forests as it contributes to the process of deforestation and forest degradation, which is responsible for about 20 % of global CO2 emissions, threatens biodiversity, and undermines sustainable forest management and development including the commercial viability of operators acting in accordance with applicable legislation. It also contributes to desertification and soil erosion and can exacerbate extreme weather events and flooding. In addition, it has social, political and economic implications, often undermining progress towards good governance and threatening the livelihood of local forest-dependent communities, and it can be linked to armed conflicts. Combating the problem of illegal logging in the context of this Regulation is expected to contribute to the Union’s climate change mitigation efforts in a cost-effective manner and should be seen as complementary to Union action and commitments in the context of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. (4) Decision No 1600/2002/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 July 2002 laying down the Sixth Community Environment Action Programme (3) identifies as a priority action the examination of the possibility of taking active measures to prevent and combat trade in illegally harvested wood and the continuation of the active participation of the Union and of Member States in the implementation of global and regional resolutions and agreements on forest-related issues. (5) The Commission Communication of 21 May 2003 entitled ‘Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT): Proposal for an EU Action Plan’ proposed a package of measures to support international efforts to tackle the problem of illegal logging and associated trade in the context of overall efforts of the Union to achieve sustainable forest management. (6) The European Parliament and the Council welcomed that Communication and recognised the need for the Union to contribute to global efforts to address the problem of illegal logging. (7) In accordance with the aim of that Communication, namely to ensure that only timber products which have been produced in accordance with the national legislation of the timber-producing country enter the Union, the Union has been negotiating Voluntary Partnership Agreements (FLEGT VPAs) with timber-producing countries (partner countries), which a legally binding obligation for the parties to implement a licensing scheme and to regulate trade in timber and timber products identified in those FLEGT VPAs. (8) Given the major scale and urgency of the problem, it is necessary to support the fight against illegal logging and related trade actively, to complement and strengthen the FLEGT VPA initiative and to improve synergies between policies aimed at the conservation of forests and the achievement of a high level of environmental protection, including combating climate change and biodiversity loss. (9) The efforts made by countries which have concluded FLEGT VPAs with the Union and the principles incorporated in them, in particular with regard to the definition of legally produced timber, should be recognised and further encouragement for countries to conclude FLEGT VPAs should be given. It should be also taken into account that under the FLEGT licensing scheme only timber harvested in accordance with the relevant national legislation and timber products derived from such timber are exported into the Union. Therefore, timber embedded in timber products listed in Annexes II and III to Council Regulation (EC) No 2173/2005 of 20 December 2005 on the establishment of a FLEGT licensing scheme for imports of timber into the European Community (4), originating in partner countries listed in Annex I to that Regulation, should be considered to have been legally harvested provided those timber products comply with that Regulation and any implementing provisions. (10) Account should also be taken of the fact that the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) places a requirement on parties to CITES only to grant a CITES permit for export when a CITES-listed species has been harvested, inter alia, in compliance with national legislation in the exporting country. Therefore timber of species listed in Annex A, B or C to Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 of 9 December 1996 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulating trade therein (5) should be considered to have been legally harvested provided it complies with that Regulation and any implementing provisions. (11) Bearing in mind that the use of recycled timber and timber products should be encouraged, and that including such products in the scope of this Regulation would place a disproportionate burden on operators, used timber and timber products that have completed their lifecycle, and would otherwise be disposed of as waste, should be excluded from the scope of this Regulation. (12) The placing on the internal market for the first time of illegally harvested timber or timber products derived from such timber should be prohibited as one of the measures of this Regulation. Taking into account the complexity of illegal logging, its underlying causes and its impacts, specific measures should be taken, such as those that target the behaviour of operators. (13) In the context of the FLEGT Action Plan the Commission and, where appropriate, Member States may support and conduct studies and research on the levels and nature of illegal logging in different countries and make such information publicly available, as well as support the provision of practical guidance to operators on applicable legislation in timber-producing countries. (14) In the absence of an internationally agreed definition, the legislation of the country where the timber was harvested, including regulations as well as the implementation in that country of relevant international conventions to which that country is party, should be the basis for defining what constitutes illegal logging. (15) Many timber products undergo numerous processes before and after they are placed on the internal market for the first time. In order to avoid imposing any unnecessary administrative burden, only operators that place timber and timber products on the internal market for the first time should be subject to the due diligence system, while a trader in the supply chain should be required to provide basic information on its supplier and its buyer to enable the traceability of timber and timber products. (16) On the basis of a systemic approach, operators placing timber and timber products for the first time on the internal market should take the appropriate steps in order to ascertain that illegally harvested timber and timber products derived from such timber are not placed on the internal market. To that end, operators should exercise due diligence through a system of measures and procedures to minimise the risk of placing illegally harvested timber and timber products derived from such timber on the internal market. (17) The due diligence system includes three elements inherent to risk management: access to information, risk assessment and mitigation of the risk identified. The due diligence system should provide access to information about the sources and suppliers of the timber and timber products being placed on the internal market for the first time, including relevant information such as compliance with the applicable legislation, the country of harvest, species, quantity, and where applicable sub-national region and concession of harvest. On the basis of this information, operators should carry out a risk assessment. Where a risk is identified, operators should mitigate such risk in a manner proportionate to the risk identified, with a view to preventing illegally harvested timber and timber products derived from such timber from being placed on the internal market. (18) In order to avoid any unnecessary administrative burden, operators already using systems or procedures which comply with the requirements of this Regulation should not be required to set up new systems. (19) In order to recognise good practice in the forestry sector, certification or other third party verified schemes that include verification of compliance with applicable ĺegislation may be used in the risk assessment procedure. (20) The timber sector is of major importance for the economy of the Union. Organisations of operators are important actors in the sector as they represent the interests of the latter on a large scale and interact with a diverse range of stakeholders. Those organisations also have the expertise and capacity to analyse relevant legislation and facilitate the compliance of their members, but should not use this competence to dominate the market. In order to facilitate the implementation of this Regulation and to contribute to the development of good practices it is appropriate to recognise organisations which have developed due diligence systems meeting the requirements of this Regulation. Recognition and withdrawal of recognition of monitoring organisations should be performed in a fair and transparent manner. A list of such recognised organisations should be made public in order to enable operators to use them. (21) Competent authorities should carry out checks at regular intervals on monitoring organisations to verify that they effectively fulfil the obligations laid down in this Regulation. Moreover, competent authorities should endeavour to carry out checks when in possession of relevant information, including substantiated concerns from third parties. (22) Competent authorities should monitor that operators effectively fulfil the obligations laid down in this Regulation. For that purpose the competent authorities should carry out official checks, in accordance with a plan as appropriate, which may include checks on the premises of operators and field audits, and should be able to require operators to take remedial actions where necessary. Moreover, competent authorities should endeavour to carry out checks when in possession of relevant information, including substantiated concerns from third parties. (23) Competent authorities should keep records of the checks and the relevant information should be made available in accordance with Directive 2003/4/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2003 on public access to environmental information (6). (24) Taking into account the international character of illegal logging and related trade, competent authorities should cooperate with each other and with the administrative authorities of third countries and the Commission. (25) In order to facilitate the ability of operators who place timber or timber products on the internal market to comply with the requirements of this Regulation, taking into account the situation of small and medium-sized enterprises, Member States, assisted by the Commission where appropriate, may provide operators with technical and other assistance and facilitate the exchange of information. Such assistance should not release operators from their obligation to exercise due diligence. (26) Traders and monitoring organisations should refrain from measures which could jeopardise the attainment of the objective of this Regulation. (27) Member States should ensure that infringements of this Regulation, including by operators, traders and monitoring organisations, are sanctioned by effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties. National rules may provide that, after effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties are applied for infringements of the prohibition of placing on the internal market of illegally harvested timber or timber products derived from such timber, such timber and timber products should not necessarily be destroyed but may instead be used or disposed of for public interest purposes. (28) The Commission should be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) concerning the procedures for the recognition and withdrawal of recognition of monitoring organisations, concerning further relevant risk assessment criteria that may be necessary to supplement those already provided for in this Regulation and concerning the list of timber and timber products to which this Regulation applies. It is of particular importance that the Commission carry out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level. (29) In order to ensure uniform conditions for implementation, implementing powers should be conferred on the Commission to adopt detailed rules with regard to the frequency and the nature of the checks by competent authorities on monitoring organisations and to the due diligence systems except as regards further relevant risk assessment criteria. In accordance with Article 291 TFEU, rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for the control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers are to be laid down in advance by a regulation adopted in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure. Pending the adoption of that new regulation Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission (7) continues to apply, with the exception of the regulatory procedure with scrutiny, which is not applicable. (30) Operators and competent authorities should be given a reasonable period in order to prepare themselves to meet the requirements of this Regulation. (31) Since the objective of this Regulation, namely the fight against illegal logging and related trade, cannot be achieved by the Member States individually and can therefore, by reason of its scale, be better achieved at Union level, the Union may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve that objective, HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION: Article 1 Subject matter This Regulation lays down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the internal market for the first time, as well as the obligations of traders. Article 2 Definitions For the purposes of this Regulation, the following definitions shall apply: (a) ‘timber and timber products’ means the timber and timber products set out in the Annex, with the exception of timber products or components of such products manufactured from timber or timber products that have completed their lifecycle and would otherwise be disposed of as waste, as defined in Article 3(1) of Directive 2008/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 November 2008 on waste (8), (b) ‘placing on the market’ means the supply by any means, irrespective of the selling technique used, of timber or timber products for the first time on the internal market for distribution or use in the course of a commercial activity, whether in return for payment or free of charge. It also includes the supply by means of distance communication as defined in Directive 97/7/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 1997 on the protection of consumers in respect of distance contracts (9). The supply on the internal market of timber products derived from timber or timber products already placed on the internal market shall not constitute ‘placing on the market’; (c) ‘operator’ means any natural or legal person that places timber or timber products on the market; (d) ‘trader’ means any natural or legal person who, in the course of a commercial activity, sells or buys on the internal market timber or timber products already placed on the internal market; (e) ‘country of harvest’ means the country or territory where the timber or the timber embedded in the timber products was harvested; (f) ‘legally harvested’ means harvested in accordance with the applicable legislation in the country of harvest; (g) ‘illegally harvested’ means harvested in contravention of the applicable legislation in the country of harvest; (h) ‘applicable legislation’ means the legislation in force in the country of harvest covering the following matters: — rights to harvest timber within legally gazetted boundaries, — payments for harvest rights and timber including duties related to timber harvesting, — timber harvesting, including environmental and forest legislation including forest management and biodiversity conservation, where directly related to timber harvesting, — third parties’ legal rights concerning use and tenure that are affected by timber harvesting, and — trade and customs, in so far as the forest sector is concerned. Article 3 Status of timber and timber products covered by FLEGT and CITES Timber embedded in timber products listed in Annexes II and III to Regulation (EC) No 2173/2005 which originate in partner countries listed in Annex I to that Regulation and which comply with that Regulation and its implementing provisions shall be considered to have been legally harvested for the purposes of this Regulation. Timber of species listed in Annex A, B or C to Regulation (EC) No 338/97 and which complies with that Regulation and its implementing provisions shall be considered to have been legally harvested for the purposes of this Regulation. Article 4 Obligations of operators 1.   The placing on the market of illegally harvested timber or timber products derived from such timber shall be prohibited. 2.   Operators shall exercise due diligence when placing timber or timber products on the market. To that end, they shall use a framework of procedures and measures, hereinafter referred to as a ‘due diligence system’, as set out in Article 6. 3.   Each operator shall maintain and regularly evaluate the due diligence system which it uses, except where the operator makes use of a due diligence system established by a monitoring organisation referred to in Article 8. Existing supervision systems under national legislation and any voluntary chain of custody mechanism which fulfil the requirements of this Regulation may be used as a basis for the due diligence system. Article 5 Obligation of traceability Traders shall, throughout the supply chain, be able to identify: (a) the operators or the traders who have supplied the timber and timber products; and (b) where applicable, the traders to whom they have supplied timber and timber products. Traders shall keep the information referred to in the first paragraph for at least five years and shall provide that information to competent authorities if they so request. Article 6 Due diligence systems 1.   The due diligence system referred to in Article 4(2) shall contain the following elements: (a) measures and procedures providing access to the following information concerning the operator’s supply of timber or timber products placed on the market: — description, including the trade name and type of product as well as the common name of tree species and, where applicable, its full scientific name, — country of harvest, and where applicable: (i) sub-national region where the timber was harvested; and (ii) concession of harvest, — quantity (expressed in volume, weight or number of units), — name and address of the supplier to the operator, — name and address of the trader to whom the timber and timber products have been supplied, — documents or other information indicating compliance of those timber and timber products with the applicable legislation; (b) risk assessment procedures enabling the operator to analyse and evaluate the risk of illegally harvested timber or timber products derived from such timber being placed on the market. Such procedures shall take into account the information set out in point (a) as well as relevant risk assessment criteria, including: — assurance of compliance with applicable legislation, which may include certification or other third-party-verified schemes which cover compliance with applicable legislation, — prevalence of illegal harvesting of specific tree species, — prevalence of illegal harvesting or practices in the country of harvest and/or sub-national region where the timber was harvested, including consideration of the prevalence of armed conflict, — sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council or the Council of the European Union on timber imports or exports, — complexity of the supply chain of timber and timber products. (c) except where the risk identified in course of the risk assessment procedures referred to in point (b) is negligible, risk mitigation procedures which consist of a set of measures and procedures that are adequate and proportionate to minimise effectively that risk and which may include requiring additional information or documents and/or requiring third party verification. 2.   Detailed rules necessary to ensure the uniform implementation of paragraph 1, except as regards further relevant risk assessment criteria referred to in the second sentence of paragraph 1(b) of this Article, shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 18(2). Those rules shall be adopted by 3 June 2012. 3.   Taking into account market developments and the experience gained in the implementation of this Regulation, in particular as identified through the exchange of information referred to in Article 13 and the reporting referred to in Article 20(3), the Commission may adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 290 TFEU as regards further relevant risk assessment criteria that may be necessary to supplement those referred to in the second sentence of paragraph 1(b) of this Article with a view to ensuring the effectiveness of the due diligence system. For the delegated acts referred to in this paragraph the procedures set out in Articles 15, 16 and 17 shall apply. Article 7 Competent authorities 1.   Each Member State shall designate one or more competent authorities responsible for the application of this Regulation. Member States shall inform the Commission of the names and addresses of the competent authorities by 3 June 2011. Member States shall inform the Commission of any changes to the names or addresses of the competent authorities. 2.   The Commission shall make publicly available, including on the Internet, a list of the competent authorities. The list shall be regularly d. Article 8 Monitoring organisations 1.   A monitoring organisation shall: (a) maintain and regularly evaluate a due diligence system as set out in Article 6 and grant operators the right to use it; (b) verify the proper use of its due diligence system by such operators; (c) take appropriate action in the event of failure by an operator to properly use its due diligence system, including notification of competent authorities in the event of significant or repeated failure by the operator. 2.   An organisation may apply for recognition as a monitoring organisation if it complies with the following requirements: (a) it has legal personality and is legally established within the Union; (b) it has appropriate expertise and the capacity to exercise the functions referred to in paragraph 1; and (c) it ensures the absence of any conflict of interest in carrying out its functions. 3.   The Commission, after consulting the Member State(s) concerned, shall recognise as a monitoring organisation an applicant that fulfils the requirements set out in paragraph 2. The decision to grant recognition to a monitoring organisation shall be communicated by the Commission to the competent authorities of all the Member States. 4.   The competent authorities shall carry out checks at regular intervals to verify that the monitoring organisations operating within the competent authorities’ jurisdiction continue to fulfil the functions laid down in paragraph 1 and comply with the requirements laid down in paragraph 2. Checks may also be carried out when the competent authority of the Member State is in possession of relevant information, including substantiated concerns from third parties or when it has detected shortcomings in the implementation by operators of the due diligence system established by a monitoring organisation. A report of the checks shall be made available in accordance with Directive 2003/4/EC. 5.   If a competent authority determines that a monitoring organisation either no longer fulfils the functions laid down in paragraph 1 or no longer complies with the requirements laid down in paragraph 2, it shall without delay inform the Commission. 6.   The Commission shall withdraw recognition of a monitoring organisation when, in particular on the basis of the information provided pursuant to paragraph 5, it has determined that the monitoring organisation no longer fulfils the functions laid down in paragraph 1 or the requirements laid down in paragraph 2. Before withdrawing recognition of a monitoring organisation, the Commission shall inform the Member States concerned. The decision to withdraw recognition of a monitoring organisation shall be communicated by the Commission to the competent authorities of all the Member States. 7.   In order to supplement the procedural rules with regard to the recognition and withdrawal of recognition of monitoring organisations and, if experience so requires, to amend them, the Commission may adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 290 TFEU, while ensuring that the recognition and withdrawal of recognition are performed in a fair and transparent manner. For the delegated acts referred to in this paragraph the procedures set out in Articles 15, 16 and 17 shall apply. Those acts shall be adopted by 3 March 2012. 8.   Detailed rules concerning the frequency and the nature of the checks referred to in paragraph 4, necessary to ensure the effective oversight of monitoring organisations and the uniform implementation of that paragraph, shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 18(2). Those rules shall be adopted by 3 June 2012. Article 9 List of monitoring organisations The Commission shall publish the list of the monitoring organisations in the Official Journal of the European Union, C series, and shall make it available on its website. The list shall be regularly d. Article 10 Checks on operators 1.   The competent authorities shall carry out checks to verify if operators comply with the requirements set out in Articles 4 and 6. 2.   The checks referred to in paragraph 1 shall be conducted in accordance with a periodically reviewed plan following a risk-based approach. In addition, checks may be conducted when a competent authority is in possession of relevant information, including on the basis of substantiated concerns provided by third parties, concerning compliance by an operator with this Regulation. 3.   The checks referred to in paragraph 1 may include, inter alia: (a) examination of the due diligence system, including risk assessment and risk mitigation procedures; (b) examination of documentation and records that demonstrate the proper functioning of the due diligence system and procedures; (c) spot checks, including field audits. 4.   Operators shall offer all assistance necessary to facilitate the performance of the checks referred to in paragraph 1, notably as regards access to premises and the presentation of documentation or records. 5.   Without prejudice to Article 19, where, following the checks referred to in paragraph 1, shortcomings have been detected, the competent authorities may issue a notice of remedial actions to be taken by the operator. Additionally, depending on the nature of the shortcomings detected, Member States may take immediate interim measures, including inter alia: (a) seizure of timber and timber products; (b) prohibition of marketing of timber and timber products. Article 11 Records of checks 1.   The competent authorities shall keep records of the checks referred to in Article 10(1), indicating in particular their nature and results, as well as of any notice of remedial actions issued under Article 10(5). Records of all checks shall be kept for at least five years. 2.   The information referred to in paragraph 1 shall be made available in accordance with Directive 2003/4/EC. Article 12 Cooperation 1.   Competent authorities shall cooperate with each other, with the administrative authorities of third countries and with the Commission in order to ensure compliance with this Regulation. 2.   The competent authorities shall exchange information on serious shortcomings detected through the checks referred to in Articles 8(4) and 10(1) and on the types of penalties imposed in accordance with Article 19 with the competent authorities of other Member States and with the Commission. Article 13 Technical assistance, guidance and exchange of information 1.   Without prejudice to the operators’ obligation to exercise due diligence under Article 4(2), Member States, assisted by the Commission where appropriate, may provide technical and other assistance and guidance to operators, taking into account the situation of small and medium-sized enterprises, in order to facilitate compliance with the requirements of this Regulation, in particular in relation to the implementation of a due diligence system in accordance with Article 6. 2.   Member States, assisted by the Commission where appropriate, may facilitate the exchange and dissemination of relevant information on illegal logging, in particular with a view to assisting operators in assessing risk as set out in Article 6(1)(b), and on best practices regarding the implementation of this Regulation. 3.   Assistance shall be provided in a manner which avoids compromising the responsibilities of competent authorities and preserves their independence in enforcing this Regulation. Article 14 Amendments of the Annex In order to take into account, on the one hand, the experience gained in the implementation of this Regulation, in particular as identified through the reporting referred to in Article 20(3) and (4) and through the exchange of information as referred to in Article 13, and, on the other hand, developments with regard to technical characteristics, end-users and production processes of timber and timber products, the Commission may adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 290 TFEU by amending and supplementing the list of timber and timber products set out in the Annex. Such acts shall not a disproportionate burden on operators. For the delegated acts referred to in this Article the procedures set out in Articles 15, 16 and 17 shall apply. Article 15 Exercise of the delegation 1.   The power to adopt the delegated acts referred to in Articles 6(3), 8(7) and 14 shall be conferred on the Commission for a period of seven years from 2 December 2010. The Commission shall make a report in respect of the delegated powers not later than three months before the end of a three-year period after the date of application of this Regulation. The delegation of powers shall be automatically extended for periods of an identical duration, unless the European Parliament or the Council revokes it in accordance with Article 16. 2.   As soon as it adopts a delegated act, the Commission shall notify it simultaneously to the European Parliament and to the Council. 3.   The power to adopt delegated acts is conferred on the Commission subject to the conditions laid down in Articles 16 and 17. Article 16 Revocation of the delegation 1.   The delegation of powers referred to in Articles 6(3), 8(7) and 14 may be revoked at any time by the European Parliament or by the Council. 2.   The institution which has commenced an internal procedure for deciding whether to revoke the delegation of powers shall endeavour to inform the other institution and the Commission within a reasonable time before the final decision is taken, indicating the delegated powers which could be subject to revocation and possible reasons for a revocation. 3.   The decision of revocation shall put an end to the delegation of the powers specified in that decision. It shall take effect immediately or at a later date specified therein. It shall not affect the validity of the delegated acts already in force. It shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Article 17 Objections to delegated acts 1.   The European Parliament or the Council may object to a delegated act within a period of two months from the date of notification. At the initiative of the European Parliament or the Council this period shall be extended by two months. 2.   If, on expiry of that period, neither the European Parliament nor the Council has objected to the delegated act, it shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and shall enter into force on the date stated therein. The delegated act may be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and enter into force before the expiry of that period if the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission of their intention not to raise objections. 3.   If the European Parliament or the Council objects to a delegated act, the act shall not enter into force. The institution which objects shall state the reasons for objecting to the delegated act. Article 18 Committee 1.   The Commission shall be assisted by the Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Committee established under Article 11 of Regulation (EC) No 2173/2005. 2.   Where reference is made to this paragraph, Articles 5 and 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply, having regard to the provisions of Article 8 thereof. The period laid down in Article 5(6) of Decision 1999/468/EC shall be set at three months. Article 19 Penalties 1.   The Member States shall lay down the rules on penalties applicable to infringements of the provisions of this Regulation and shall take all measures necessary to ensure that they are implemented. 2.   The penalties provided for must be effective, proportionate and dissuasive and may include, inter alia: (a) fines proportionate to the environmental damage, the value of the timber or timber products concerned and the tax losses and economic detriment resulting from the infringement, calculating the level of such fines in such way as to make sure that they effectively deprive those responsible of the economic benefits derived from their serious infringements, without prejudice to the legitimate right to exercise a profession, and gradually increasing the level of such fines for repeated serious infringements; (b) seizure of the timber and timber products concerned; (c) immediate suspension of authorisation to trade. 3.   The Member States shall notify those provisions to the Commission and shall notify it without delay of any subsequent amendments affecting them. Article 20 Reporting 1.   Member States shall submit to the Commission, by 30 April of every second year following 3 March 2013, a report on the application of this Regulation during the previous two years. 2.   On the basis of those reports the Commission shall draw up a report to be submitted to the European Parliament and to the Council every two years. In preparing the report, the Commission shall have regard to the progress made in respect of the conclusion and operation of the FLEGT VPAs pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 2173/2005 and their contribution to minimising the presence of illegally harvested timber and timber products derived from such timber on the internal market. 3.   By 3 December 2015 and every six years thereafter, the Commission shall, on the basis of reporting on and experience with the application of this Regulation, review the functioning and effectiveness of this Regulation, including in preventing illegally harvested timber or timber products derived from such timber being placed on the market. It shall in particular consider the administrative consequences for small and medium-sized enterprises and product coverage. The reports may be accompanied, if necessary, by appropriate legislative proposals. 4.   The first of the reports referred to in paragraph 3 shall include an evaluation of the current Union economic and trade situation with regard to the products listed under Chapter 49 of the Combined Nomenclature, taking particularly into account the competitiveness of the relevant sectors, in order to consider their possible inclusion in the list of timber and timber products set out in the Annex to this Regulation. The report referred to in the first subparagraph shall also include an assessment of the effectiveness of the prohibition of the placing on the market of illegally harvested timber and timber products derived from such timber as set out in Article 4(1) as well as of the due diligence systems set out in Article 6. Article 21 Entry into force and application This Regulation shall enter into force on the 20th day following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. It shall apply as from 3 March 2013. However, Articles 6(2), 7(1), 8(7) and 8(8) shall apply as from 2 December 2010. This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States. Done at Strasbourg, 20 October 2010. For the European Parliament The President J. BUZEK For the Council The President O. CHASTEL (1)  OJ C 318, 23.12.2009, p. 88. (2)  Position of the European Parliament of 22 April 2009 (OJ C 184 E, 8.7.2010, p. 145), position of the Council at first reading of 1 March 2010 (OJ C 114 E, 4.5.2010, p. 17) and position of the European Parliament of 7 July 2010 (not yet published in the Official Journal). (3)  OJ L 242, 10.9.2002, p. 1. (4)  OJ L 347, 30.12.2005, p. 1. (5)  OJ L 61, 3.3.1997, p. 1. (6)  OJ L 41, 14.2.2003, p. 26. (7)  OJ L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23. (8)  OJ L 312, 22.11.2008, p. 3. (9)  OJ L 144, 4.6.1997, p. 19. ANNEX Timber and timber products as classified in the Combined Nomenclature set out in Annex I to Council Regulation (EEC) No 2658/87  (1) , to which this Regulation applies — 4401 Fuel wood, in logs, in billets, in twigs, in faggots or in similar forms; wood in chips or particles; sawdust and wood waste and scrap, whether or not agglomerated in logs, briquettes, pellets or similar forms — 4403 Wood in the rough, whether or not stripped of bark or sapwood, or roughly squared — 4406 Railway or tramway sleepers (cross-ties) of wood — 4407 Wood sawn or chipped lengthwise, sliced or peeled, whether or not planed, sanded or end-jointed, of a thickness exceeding 6 mm — 4408 Sheets for veneering (including those obtained by slicing laminated wood), for plywood or for other similar laminated wood and other wood, sawn lengthwise, sliced or peeled, whether or not planed, sanded, spliced or end-jointed, of a thickness not exceeding 6 mm — 4409 Wood (including strips and friezes for parquet flooring, not assembled) continuously shaped (tongued, grooved, rebated, chamfered, V-jointed, beaded, moulded, rounded or the like) along any of its edges, ends or faces, whether or not planed, sanded or end-jointed — 4410 Particle board, oriented strand board (OSB) and similar board (for example, waferboard) of wood or other ligneous materials, whether or not agglomerated with resins or other organic binding substances — 4411 Fibreboard of wood or other ligneous materials, whether or not bonded with resins or other organic substances — 4412 Plywood, veneered panels and similar laminated wood — 4413 00 00 Densified wood, in blocks, plates, strips or profile shapes — 4414 00 Wooden frames for paintings, photographs, mirrors or similar objects — 4415 Packing cases, boxes, crates, drums and similar packings, of wood; cable-drums of wood; pallets, box pallets and other load boards, of wood; pallet collars of wood (Not packing material used exclusively as packing material to support, protect or carry another product placed on the market.) — 4416 00 00 Casks, barrels, vats, tubs and other coopers’ products and parts thereof, of wood, including staves — 4418 Builders’ joinery and carpentry of wood, including cellular wood panels, assembled flooring panels, shingles and shakes — Pulp and paper of Chapters 47 and 48 of the Combined Nomenclature, with the exception of bamboo-based and recovered (waste and scrap) products — 9403 30, 9403 40, 9403 50 00, 9403 60 and 9403 90 30 Wooden furniture — 9406 00 20 Prefabricated buildings (1)  Council Regulation (EEC) No 2658/87 of 23 July 1987 on the tariff and statistical nomenclature and on the Common Customs Tariff (OJ L 256, 7.9.1987, p. 1). 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    Commission delegated Regulation of 23.2.2012 on the procedural rules for the recognition and withdrawal of recognition of monitoring organisations as provided for in Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the DETAIL
    Commission ...

    Official Journal of the European Union L 115/12 COMMISSION DELEGATED REGULATION (EU) No 363/2012 of 23 February 2012 on the procedural rules for the recognition and withdrawal of recognition of monitoring organisations as provided for in Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market (Text with EEA relevance) THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION, Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Having regard to Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 October 2010 laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market (1), and in particular Article 8(7) thereof, Whereas: (1) Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 aims, in particular, at minimising the risk of placing illegal timber and products derived from such timber on the internal market. Monitoring organisations should assist operators in meeting the requirements of that Regulation. To that end, they should develop a due diligence system, grant the operators the right to use it, and verify its proper use. (2) The procedure under which the Commission recognises monitoring organisations should be fair, transparent and independent. Therefore, applicants should be assessed after consulting the competent authorities of the Member States and after collecting sufficient information about an applicant. Where necessary, the collection of information should include visits to an applicant’s premises. (3) It is necessary to specify the appropriate expertise and capacity that monitoring organisations should have in order to determine the compliance of wood with relevant legislation in its country of harvest and to propose measures to assess the risk of placing illegal timber and products derived from such timber on the market. Where the risk identified is not negligible, monitoring organisation should also be able to propose adequate measures to effectively minimising it. (4) It should be ensured that monitoring organisations exercise their functions in a transparent and independent manner, avoiding any conflict of interest arising out of their functions and providing their services to operators in a non-discriminatory manner. (5) The Commission should decide upon a withdrawal of recognition following a procedure, which is fair, transparent and independent. Before taking a decision the Commission should consult the Member States’ competent authorities concerned and should collect sufficient information, including on-the-spot visits where necessary. The monitoring organisation concerned should be given the opportunity to submit comments before a decision is taken. (6) In accordance with the principle of proportionality, the Commission should be able to withdraw recognition either in a temporary and/or conditional basis, or permanently, as it may deem required by the level of shortcomings detected, where a monitoring organisation no longer fulfils the functions or meets the requirements laid down in Article 8 of Regulation (EU) No 995/2010. (7) It is necessary to ensure that the level of protection of individuals with regard to the processing of their personal data within the scope of this Regulation, in particular as regards the processing of personal data in the applications for recognition as a monitoring organisation complies with the requirements laid down in Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individual with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (2) and with Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data (3), HAS ADOPTED THIS REGULATION: Article 1 Definitions For the purpose of this Regulation, in addition to the definitions laid down in Article 2 of Regulation (EU) No 995/2010, the following definitions shall apply: (1) ‘competent authorities concerned’ means competent authorities of the Member States in which a monitoring organisation or an applicant for recognition as monitoring organisation is legally established or in which provides services or intends to provide services within the meaning of Directive 2006/123/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (4); (2) ‘evidence of formal qualifications’ means diplomas, certificates and other evidence issued by an authority in a State, designated pursuant to legislative or administrative provisions of that State and certifying successful completion of professional training; (3) ‘professional experience’ means the actual and lawful pursuit of the profession concerned. Article 2 Application for recognition 1.   Any entity, public or private, being a company, corporation, firm, enterprise, institution or authority, legally established in the Union, may submit to the Commission an application to be recognised as a monitoring organisation. The entity shall submit the application in any of the official languages of the Union together with the documents listed in the Annex. 2.   To be recognised as a monitoring organisation, an applicant shall demonstrate that it fulfils all requirements provided in Article 8(2) of Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 and in Articles 5 to 8 of this Regulation. 3.   The Commission shall acknowledge the receipt of an application and provide the applicant with a reference number within 10 working days from the date of receipt. It shall also provide the applicant with an indicative time limit within which it will decide on the application. The Commission shall inform the applicant anytime it revises the indicative time limit due to the necessity to obtain additional information or documents for the assessment of the application. 4.   Where three months have lapsed since the receipt of an application or the Commission’s last written communication to an applicant, whichever is later, and the Commission has not adopted a recognition decision or rejected the application, the Commission shall inform the applicant in writing of the progress in assessment of the application. The first subparagraph may apply more than once to the handling of one application. 5.   The Commission shall transmit a copy of the application and supporting documents to the competent authorities concerned, which may provide comments on the application within one month of the date of transmission. Article 3 Additional documents and access to premises 1.   Upon request by the Commission, an applicant or the competent authorities concerned shall submit any additional information or documents required by the Commission within a specified time limit. 2.   The applicant shall grant the Commission access to its premises to verify that all requirements provided in Article 8 of Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 and in Articles 5 to 8 are fulfilled. The Commission shall inform the applicant of a visit in advance. The competent authorities concerned may participate in the visit. The applicant shall offer all assistance necessary to facilitate such visits. Article 4 Recognition decision Where the Commission has adopted a recognition decision pursuant to Article 8(3) of Regulation (EU) No 995/2010, it shall notify the applicant concerned within 10 working days of the date of adoption of that decision. The Commission shall also provide the applicant with a certificate of recognition without delay and shall communicate its decision to the competent authorities of all Member States in accordance with the second subparagraph of Article 8(3) of Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 within the time limit referred to in the first paragraph. Article 5 Legal personality and legal establishment within the Union 1.   Where an applicant is legally established in more than one Member State, it shall provide information about its registered office, central administration or principal place of business within the Union as well as about all its agencies, branches or subsidiaries set up in the territory of any Member State. The applicant shall also declare in which Member States it intends to provide services. 2.   An applicant which is, or forms part of an authority of a Member State shall not be required to prove its legal personality and legal establishment within the Union. Article 6 Appropriate expertise 1.   For the purpose of ensuring proper exercise of the functions of a monitoring organisation as required by Article 8(2)(b) of Regulation (EU) No 995/2010, the technically competent personnel of an applicant shall meet the following minimum criteria, attested by evidence of formal qualifications and professional experience: (a) formal professional training in a discipline relevant to the functions of a monitoring organisation; (b) for senior technical positions, at least five years of professional experience in function related to the functions of a monitoring organisation. For the purposes of point (a) of the first subparagraph, disciplines related to forestry, environment, law, business management, risk management, trade, auditing, financial control or supply chain management shall be considered relevant disciplines. 2.   An applicant shall maintain records documenting the duties and responsibilities of its personnel. The applicant shall have in place procedures for monitoring the performance and technical competence of its personnel. Article 7 Capacity to exercise functions as a monitoring organisation 1.   An applicant shall demonstrate that it has in place all of the following: (a) an organisational structure that ensures a proper exercise of the functions of a monitoring organisation; (b) a due diligence system to be made available to and used by operators; (c) policies and procedures that allow for the evaluation and improvement of the due diligence system; (d) procedures and processes to verify the proper use of its due diligence system by operators; (e) procedures for corrective actions to be taken in a case of a failure by an operator to properly use its due diligence system. 2.   In addition to requirements of paragraph 1, an applicant shall demonstrate that it has financial and technical capacity to exercise the functions of a monitoring organisation. Article 8 Absence of conflict of interest 1.   An applicant shall be organised so as to safeguard the objectivity and impartiality of its activities. 2.   An applicant shall identify, analyse and maintain records documenting risks of conflict of interest arising as a result of it exercising functions as a monitoring organisation, including any conflicts arising from its relationships with related bodies or subcontractors. 3.   Where a risk of a conflict of interest has been identified the applicant shall have in place written policies and procedures to avoid conflicts of interest at organisational and individual level. The written policies and procedures shall be maintained and implemented. Those policies and procedures may include third party audits. Article 9 Information on subsequent changes 1.   A monitoring organisation shall inform the Commission without delay of any of the following situations occurring after its recognition: (a) a change that may affect the ability of that monitoring organisation to comply with the requirements in Articles 5 to 8, which have occurred after its recognition; (b) the monitoring organisation sets up agencies, branches or subsidiaries within the Union, other than those declared in its application; (c) the monitoring organisation decides to provide services in a Member States other than as declared in its application or in a Member State where it declared to have ceased to provide its services in accordance with point (d); (d) the monitoring organisation ceases to provide services in any Member State. 2.   The Commission shall communicate all information obtained pursuant to paragraph 1 to the competent authorities concerned. Article 10 Review of the recognition decision 1.   The Commission may review a decision recognising a monitoring organisation at any time. The Commission shall carry out such a review in any of the following situations: (a) a competent authority concerned informs the Commission that it has determined that a monitoring organisation no longer fulfils the functions laid down in Article 8(1) of Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 or no longer complies with the requirements laid down in Article 8(2) of Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 as specified in Articles 5 to 8 of this Regulation; (b) the Commission is in possession of relevant information, including substantiated concerns from third parties, that a monitoring organisation no longer complies with the requirements laid down in Article 8(1) and (2) of Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 and in Articles 5 to 8 of this Regulation; (c) a monitoring organisation has informed the Commission of changes referred to in Article 9(1)(a) of this Regulation. 2.   Where a review is initiated the Commission shall be assisted by a review team to conduct the review and perform checks. 3.   An applicant shall grant the review team access to its premises to verify that all requirements provided in Article 8 of Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 and in Articles 5 to 8 in this Regulation are fulfilled. The competent authorities concerned may participate in the visit. The applicant shall offer all assistance necessary to facilitate such visits. 4.   The review team shall draft a report stating its findings. Supporting evidence shall be annexed to the review report. The review report shall include a recommendation as to whether the recognition of a monitoring organisation should be withdrawn. The review team shall send the review report to the competent authorities concerned. Those authorities may provide comments within three weeks of the date of transmission of the report. The review team shall provide the monitoring organisation concerned with a summary of the findings and conclusions of the report. The organisation may provide comments to the review team within three weeks of the date of transmission of the summary. 5.   The review team shall recommend in its review report withdrawal of recognition on a temporary and/or conditional basis, or permanently, as it may deem required by the level of shortcomings detected, where it determines that a monitoring organisation no longer fulfils the functions or meets the requirements laid down in Article 8 of Regulation (EU) No 995/2010. The review team may instead recommend that the Commission issue a notice of remedial actions or an official warning, or that the Commission take no further action. Article 11 Decision to withdraw recognition 1.   The Commission shall decide whether to withdraw recognition of a monitoring organisation on a temporary and/or conditional basis, or permanently, taking into account the review report referred to in Article 10. 2.   The Commission may issue a notice of remedial actions or an official warning where the level of detected shortcomings does not lead to a determination, in accordance with Article 8(6) of Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 that the monitoring organisation no longer fulfils the functions or the requirements laid down in Article 8(2) of that Regulation. 3.   A decision to withdraw recognition of a monitoring organisation as well as a notice or a warning pursuant to paragraph 2 shall be notified to the monitoring organisation concerned and communicated to the competent authorities of all the Member States in accordance with Article 8(6) of Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 within 10 working days of its adoption. Article 12 Data protection This Regulation shall be without prejudice to the rules concerning the processing of personal data laid down in Directive 95/46/EC and Regulation (EC) No 45/2001. Article 13 Final provisions This Regulation shall enter into force on the 20th day following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States. Done at Brussels, 23 February 2012. For the Commission The President José Manuel BARROSO (1)  OJ L 295, 12.11.2010, p. 23. (2)  OJ L 281, 23.11.1995, p. 31. (3)  OJ L 8, 12.1.2001, p. 1. (4)  OJ L 376, 27.12.2006, p. 36. ANNEX List of supporting documents   Legal personality; legal establishment; provision of services: — certified copies of evidence as provided for in the relevant national legislation, — list of Member States in which the applicant intends to provide services.   Appropriate expertise: — description of the organisation and structure of the entity, — list of technically competent personnel with copies of CVs, — description of duties and responsibilities and their division, — detailed describing of procedures for monitoring the performance and competences of the technically competent personnel.   Capacity to exercise functions as a monitoring organisation: A detailed description of the following: — a due diligence system, — policies and procedures for evaluation and improvement of the due diligence system, — policies and procedures for dealing with complaints from operators or third parties, — procedures and processes to verify the proper use of the due diligence system by operators, — procedures for corrective actions to be taken in the case of a failure by an operator to properly use the due diligence system, — a record keeping system.   Financial capacity: — copies of financial statements for the last financial year, or — a declaration concerning the sales turnover, or — other substantiating documents if the applicant cannot, for valid reasons, provide those indicated above, — proof of liability insurance.   Absence of conflict of interest: — declaration of absence of conflict of interest, — description of the written policies and procedures for avoidance of conflict of interest at organisational and individual level, which may include third party audits.   Subcontracting: — description of tasks subcontracted, — evidence that all subcontractors or the subsidiaries, where these are established, meet the relevant requirements above. 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