Research Paper

Senior Research Fellow, Energy, Environment and Resources
Jens Hein, Coordinator, Energy, Environment and Resources
German Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt, Spanish Agriculture and Environment Minister Miguel Arias Canete, EU commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Dacian Ciolos and Austrian minister for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment, & Water ManaGerman Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt, Spanish Agriculture and Environment Minister Miguel Arias Canete, EU commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Dacian Ciolos and Austrian minister for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment, & Water Management Andrä Rupprechter 14 April 2014 at the EU Headquarters at the Kirchberg Conference Centre, Luxembourg. Photo by Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images.

This paper presents the results of a survey of EU member state competent authorities (CAs) undertaken by Chatham House as part of a research project aimed at supporting effective and consistent implementation of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR). 

The EUTR came into force in March 2013 and has three core obligations: it prohibits the placing on the EU market for the first time of illegally harvested timber and products; it requires EU traders placing timber on the market (termed ‘operators’) to exercise due diligence in their sourcing of timber; and it requires subsequent traders to keep records of their suppliers and customers. Member states are required to designate a competent authority with responsibility for enforcement of this regulation. 

The survey was conducted in November/December 2013. A similar one was undertaken in September 2012. The surveys concerned the nature and scope of CAs and their activities, their level of readiness for implementing the EUTR, and to identify gaps in preparation, specific challenges and/or best practice. These findings have fed into a series of capacity-building workshops for CAs organized during 2013 and 2014 by Chatham House, Client Earth, Forest Trends and Interpol.