Illegal Logging

Latest News

Illegal Logging Information Sessions (Oct - Nov 2014)

Information sessions on the new illegal logging due diligence requirements will be held throughout October and November 2014

Illegal Logging Webinars

The Department will be working with Forest and Wood Products Australia to deliver a series of online ‘webinar’ information events throughout October and November 2014.

Senator Colbeck Media Release

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator the Hon. Richard Colbeck, issued a media release outlining the key steps being undertaken to help industry adjust to the illegal logging laws.

Addition of FSC and PEFC Chain of Custody schemes

The government has agreed to add the FSC and PEFC chain-of-custody certification schemes to the timber legality frameworks recognised under the Act. Further information can be found for importers and processors.

Release Country Specific Guidelines and State Specific Guidelines

The Department has published a number of Country and State Specific Guidelines and their associated Quick Reference Guides.

Translated importer/foreign business factsheets

The Department has translated several illegal logging factsheets into key trading partner languages, including simplified Chinese, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese and Spanish.

Promoting the trade in legally harvested timber

Illegal logging is a significant problem in many countries. It degrades forest environments, reduces biodiversity, undermines government regimes and revenues, contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and deprives local communities of opportunities to improve their quality of life.

The Australian Government is committed to combating such destructive activities while also supporting the trade in legally harvested timber and timber products.

The law has changed

Legislation designed to promote the trade in legally logged timber and timber products is now law. If you are a business importing timber or timber products into Australia or processing domestically grown raw logs you need to be aware of your new responsibilities.

A summary of the key elements of the illegal logging laws is set out below.

Promoting the trade in legally harvested timber: Key elements

Element 1: High-level prohibition

Source: Illegal logging Prohibition Act 2012

Commences: Already in place. Came into effect in November 2012.

Key elements: Makes it a criminal offence to intentionally, knowingly or recklessly import or process illegally logged timber or timber products.

Affects: Businesses importing any timber or timber products into Australia and processors of domestically grown raw logs.


Element 2: Due diligence requirements

Source: Illegal Logging Prohibition Amendment Regulation 2013

Commences: In future. Will come into effect on 30 November 2014.

Key elements: Businesses need to assess and manage the risk that the timber they are importing for processing has been illegally logged. Known as carrying out due diligence.

Affects: Businesses importing certain timber or timber products (as defined in the regulation) into Australia and processors of domestically grown raw logs.

The department has developed a position paper PDF [189 KB]  Word [1.8 MB] outlining how it will work with and support industry with the illegal logging laws and new due diligence requirements.

Where can I find more information about these changes?

Although the new requirements are not designed to be a significant burden, we recognise that some affected businesses will need additional information and guidance to adjust to their new responsibilities.

This website contains a range of information to help businesses make this transition.

How can I stay informed?

The Department of Agriculture is here to help you comply with the illegal logging laws.

We are working with industry organisations to develop a range of education and guidance materials. This information will be provided here, as it becomes available.

You can also access additional information by:

  • Reading the information provided on our Frequently asked questions and further information and resources webpages.
  • Subscribing to the illegal logging mailing list to stay informed of the release of any new information or guidance materials or any upcoming information events.
  • Emailing the department with a question related to the illegal logging laws. The department will consider your question and get back to you with a detailed response within 10 working days.
  • Calling the department during business hours (8.30am to 5.30pm) on 1800 657 313 or if outside of Australia +61 2 6272 3933.

Opportunities for further engagement

The department is interested in identifying further opportunities for informing businesses of their new responsibilities. If you have an event or meeting coming up that you think would provide a good forum for the distribution of such information, please email us at illegal logging.