Printed products must be safe from illegal logging

10 June 2020

Intergraf has long advocated for printed products to be included in the scope of the EU Timber Regulation, which would ensure that they are safe from illegal logging. This key issue remains on the European agenda, with related reports currently being prepared in the European Parliament.

The EU contains 5% of the world's forests and EU forests have continuously expanded for over 60 years. EU forests and other wooded land now cover 182 million hectares, representing more than 42% of EU's land area.

Under its new mandate, the European Commission has initiated several initiatives related to forestry. They are preparing a new Forest Strategy, assessing ways to step up EU action to protect the world’s forests, and they intend to present an legal framework to halt and reverse EU-driven global deforestation. Intergraf is using the momentum generated by these initiatives to repeat its call to extend the scope of the EU Timber Regulation to secure that imported printed products carry the same guarantee on the legality of the paper sourcing as European printed products.

"Since 2010, the European Union has had a system in place ensuring that timber products placed on the European market are safe from illegal logging: the EU Timber Regulation. Unfortunately, the scope of the Regulation excludes printed products creating a massive environmental loophole: all printed products imported into the European market are exempted from any requirement on the legality of the paper used. The free access to the European market of imported printed products originating from illegally sourced forests does not only contribute to EU-driven global deforestation but it also supports the delocalisation of the jobs of printing workers to countries with less stringent rules on timber legality" said Laetitia Reynaud, Policy Adviser at Intergraf.

We are approaching Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), who are preparing reports on these matters.