Illegal Logging Prohibition Regulation 2012 Sunsetting Review
The government is reviewing the Illegal Logging Prohibition Regulation 2012. Reforms to both the Regulation and the Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012 will be considered through the review process.
The consultation paper and a short review summary can be found on the Review and consultation webpage.
Submissions for the review have now closed.
We asked for your feedback on potential reforms to the Regulation and associated Act. This was to make sure the laws:
- remain effective in protecting the Australian market from illegally logged timber
- achieve their purpose of promoting trade in sustainable, legally harvested timber.
We will review and consider your feedback. We will use it to develop a set of recommendations for Government to consider in due course.
For updates on this review and Australia’s Illegal Logging Laws visit the Have your say website.
Australian Government announce series of studies to assess our exposure to illegally logged timber
Recently announced in the department’s 2021-22 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), the Australian Government is investing $0.9 million over 2 years to deliver a series of studies to assess our current and future exposure to illegally logged timber imports. As part of this commitment, these studies will assess:
- Australia’s current and future exposure to illegally logged timber imports
- how Australia’s laws have reduced demand for illegally logged timber
- where enforcement efforts under the laws can be tailored to emerging risks.
These studies will harness specialist knowledge and skillsets in illegal logging, trade, regulatory implementation and policy, strengthening our illegal logging laws to better protect the profitability and viability of the Australian market and our timber producers.
The studies will be used to develop a set of recommendations for better targeting compliance efforts across the 30,000 importers and $7.8 billion of annual trade regulated under the illegal logging laws.
Watch a video explaining why Australia has the illegal logging laws
Illegal logging transcript DOCX [31 KB]
Illegal logging is a major global problem. The theft, laundering and trade of illegal timber happens across the world, in all types of forests. Driven mostly by profit, illegal logging has negative impacts on forest ecosystems, communities and economies.
Illegal logging has been linked to:
- organised crime
- civil wars
- species extinction
- environmental destruction
The United Nations and Interpol estimate that illegal logging costs the global community up to $206 billion each year. This makes it the largest environmental crime by value in the world.
Australia is not immune to the trade of illegally logged timber. It is estimated that up to 10%, or $800 million, of our timber imports could come from high-risk sources every year. We have also seen isolated cases of high-value Australian timber being illegally logged.
Since 2012, we have had laws to combat illegal logging and promote the trade of legal timber products. These laws are set out in the Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012 and the Illegal Logging Prohibition Regulation 2012.
If you import wood, pulp or paper products into Australia, or process Australian grown raw logs, these laws affect you. You have legal responsibilities and need to know your obligations.
Under Australian law, illegal logging means ‘the harvesting of timber in contravention of the laws of the country where the timber is harvested’.
This includes a wide range of illegal activities, such as:
- logging of protected species
- logging in protected areas
- logging with fake or illegal permits
- using illegal harvest methods
By complying with the laws, you are doing your part to combat the destructive trade of illegally logged timber. You will also be supporting local investment, profitability and jobs.
We continue to review Australia’s illegal logging laws, and consult with industry. Read previous Reviews and consultations.
Australia’s illegal logging laws place different obligations on different people:
If you import wood, pulp, or paper products into Australia you have legal responsibilities. You need to ensure you are not importing products that contain illegally logged timber.
If you process Australian grown raw logs, you have legal responsibilities. You need to ensure you are not processing illegally logged timber.
Customs brokers are not directly affected by the illegal logging laws.
However, your clients may ask for help understanding their legal responsibilities. You will also need to help your clients answer an illegal logging Community Protection Question.
Overseas suppliers are not directly affected by the illegal logging laws.
However, your Australian customers may ask for information about where the timber in your wood, pulp and paper products has come from. They will also need evidence that it has been legally harvested.
Exporting from Australia
Businesses exporting timber products from Australia are not directly affected by Australia’s illegal logging laws. However, you may have other legal responsibilities and your products may be subject to other countries’ illegal logging laws.
For more information on exporting Australian timber, please see Wood Export Licensing.
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