The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020. Under the UK-EU withdrawal agreement, the transition period will end on 31 December 2020. The UK has already stated that the EUTR (2013) will be replaced by the UKTR from 1st January 2020.
What’s different between EUTR and UKTR for timber importers?
- EUTR: currently if your business is based in the UK, and you are placing timber/timber products on the EU marketplace for the first time (i.e., imported from the rest of the world) you need to complete a risk based due diligence process to assess the likelihood that the products you are importing are legally traded from the forest of harvest to the point where you are clearing them through customs. You are in an Operator relationship with your supplier. If you are buying products that are already on the EU market place you are in a Trader relationship with your supplier.
- UKTR: from 1st January 2021 if your business is based in England, Scotland, or Wales UKTR replaces EUTR and you need to add the all EU member states to the list of exporting countries where the products you purchase require risk based due diligence. So on that date your relationship with your EU suppliers changes from Trader to Operator.
What happens if my business is based in N. Ireland and I’m importing products directly from the EU, the rest of the UK and the rest of the world?
- Once the custom union ends, it’s different for N Ireland than for England, Scotland and Wales. From 1st January 2021 you treat your EU suppliers as still being in a Trader relationship and your rest-of-the-world suppliers as Operators. Nothing changes there. What does change, however is your trading relationship with England, Scotland and Wales. They are treated just the same as the rest of the world and you must satisfy the needs of an Operator relationship ie – run those products through your due diligence system.
What happens if my business is based in England, Scotland or Wales and I then move products to N Ireland?
- From 1st Jan 2021 whatever entity is receiving the timber products in N Ireland is going to have to run them through their own EUTR due diligence process. Even if it’s one of your own business outlets that’s operating in N Ireland. And even if you’ve already completed UKTR due diligence on them before moving the products to N Ireland.
What happens if my business is based N Ireland and I then move products to England, Scotland or Wales?
- From 1st Jan 2021 you can move the products to England, Scotland or Wales without any paperwork or due diligence.
Chris Meadows, TRG Technical Knowledge Manager