Defra have published guidance on “Buying and selling timber if there’s no Brexit deal”. It should be noted that the guidance emphasises that the negotiations are ongoing and that this guidance is just a result of the government preparing for all eventualities.
To summarise, although EU law will no longer apply the UK Government will implement their own UK timber regulation and UK FLEGT regulation, which will have the same requirements as the EUTR and EU FLEGT regulations.
The main difference to the existing system that in a ‘no deal’ scenario, businesses importing timber from the EU and EEA and placing it on the UK market would have to exercise due diligence to demonstrate that they are importing legally harvested timber. This requirement will be an addition to the current situation where businesses have to carry out due diligence checks when they import timber from the rest of the world.
So while there will be no changes for businesses importing from outside the EU, UK producers first placing on the market, and internal UK trade, additional due diligence checks will be needed for all timber imported from EU and EEA into the UK.
Similarly to continue to comply with the EUTR, EU and EEAbusinesses would be required to apply due diligence to imports from the UK. Therefore it is likely that UK-based exporters would need to provide relevant documentation about the source and legality of their timber exports to EU and EEA-based importers to enable their customers to meet their due diligence obligations under the EUTR.