Russdales: Peace of mind coming to real wood customers from March 2013

Posted on 19th November 2012

Real wood flooring customers should gain some peace of mind come March next year, when all timber merchants down the supply chain will be handling wood from legal sources only.
According to, from March 2013, all importers, manufacturers and distributors (or ‘Operators’), of real wood products will be subject to the European Union’s Timber Regulation (EUTR) act.

This will require all Operators to carry out a Due Diligence risk assessment to ensure that any wood ordered into the European Economic Area (EEA) market is sourced legally.
Such issues that can affect the legality of real wood sourcing includes whether it was felled from non-high risk sources and whether the Operator has the right kinds of licences to be felling certain species, or operating within certain countries.
Penalties for those who fail to comply within the EUTR include fines, stock seizures and the possible suspension of their business license.
Alastair Kerr, director general for the Wood Panel Industries Federation, says that the best way for companies to stay in the clear next year is to start purchasing compliant materials now.

Mr Kerr, who promotes the use of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) accredited Oriented Strand Board (OSB) – a wood-strand based board, mixed with resin, according to – added: “Products like Oriented Strand Board made in the UK and Ireland have been FSC certified for many years and can therefore be regarded as coming from fully traceable, low risk wood sources.
“While there are still some builders that believe OSB isn’t up to the job of their usual ply, the majority of merchants and trade professionals rely on its defect free appearance and inherent strength for a wide variety of applications from structural applications such as timber framed housing sheathing, flooring or to general building tasks.”

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