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Environment MEPs get tough on illegal timber trade
May 24, 2010

Between 20-40% of the world wood production comes from illegally logged tropical forests. In April 2009 the European Parliament voted to ban trade in illegally logged timber following the example of the US. Now the text is back at Parliament and Environment Committee MEPs are not satisfied with what the EU governments in the Council have made of it - EU Council rejects ban on illegal timber imports. On 4 May 2010 the Environment Committee of the European Parliament voted again.

The Council position officially adopted in March was considerably weaker than the 1st reading position of the EU Parliament. It did not contain a prohibition on trading illegally harvested timber and timber products, and it did not specify penalties, or require criminal sanctions for serious infringements; the regime for the recognition of monitoring organisations was also different to what Parliament had asked for. On 4 May 2010 the Environment Committee adopted a draft recommendation for a second reading, reinstating most of Parliament first reading amendments which the Council had not taken on board. The EU Parliament and Council have now started negotiations on a possible compromise between the positions of the two legislators before the Parliament plenary vote scheduled for July.

EU Parliament press release