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Illegal Timber Imports

Volume 405: debated on Monday 12 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what action is being taken at EU level to tackle the trade in illegal timber imports; whether the UK will support new EU legislation to ban the trade in illegally acquired timber and timber products; and if she will make a statement. [111034]

Under EU law, import controls on illegally logged timber can only be imposed at EU level. We are therefore working actively within the EU, where this is now being considered. The Government are strongly encouraging the European Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) process. The European Commission will shortly publish a proposed FLEGT action plan. The plan will include consideration of new EU legislative regulations to address imports of illegally logged timber in a way that is consistent with EU obligations to the World Trade Organisation.