2017 Regulation Impact Statement
In October 2017, the Australian Government announced changes to the illegal logging laws and published the ‘Reforming Australia’s illegal logging regulations’ - Regulation Impact Statement (RIS).
The RIS aimed to remove unnecessary costs on the regulated community from the due diligence requirements of the
Illegal Logging Prohibition Regulation 2012. The RIS examined six options to improve the operation of the Regulation. Some of these options were recommended by the 2015 KMPG led
Independent review of the impacts of the illegal logging regulations on small business.
What were the six options for amending the Regulation?
- The 'status quo'
- Changing the consignment value threshold
- Removing personal imports
- Deemed to comply arrangements for timber legality frameworks
- Deemed to comply arrangements for Country or State Specific Guidelines
- Deemed to comply arrangements for low-risk countries
The RIS was informed by public consultation undertaken in late 2016. Forty-six
stakeholders provided submissions.
Reforming Australia’s illegal logging regulations
In line with the RIS’s findings, the government will amend the
Illegal Logging Prohibition Regulation 2012 to:
- Establish a
new ‘Deemed to comply’ arrangement for products certified under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Programme for Endorsement Certification (PEFC) schemes. This will streamline the due diligence requirements for importers or processors dealing with such products, providing an estimated annual regulatory saving of AUD$4.2 million.
- Associated with this reform, we will also remove Forest Law, Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) licenses from the Regulation’s scope. FLEGT licences are only issued for products exported directly from certain countries to the European Union.
- Clarify that
personal or non-commercial importers and processors do not need to provide business related information as part of their due diligence system. This will resolve some of the difficulties such parties have had in complying with the Regulation’s requirements.
- Clarify that any
conclusions of risk must be ‘reasonable’ and supported by evidence gathered as part of the due diligence process.
With the conclusion of the RIS process, the department will also end its existing ‘soft-start’ compliance period.
From 1 January 2018, businesses and individuals who import regulated timber products into Australia, or who process domestically grown raw logs, may face penalties for failing to comply with the due diligence requirements.
RIS Fast Facts
February 2016: The department released the KPMG report
Independent review of the impacts of illegal logging regulations on small business and the government’s response
November 2016: The department
published a consultation paper with six options to reform the Regulation and asked the public for feedback
December 2016: We received 46
submissions from regulated businesses, industry associations, environmental NGOS, certification organisations and foreign governments
Early 2017: We used the feedback to further assess the reform options
October 2017: The government published the final RIS and began progressing regulatory amendments
Result: saving the regulated community $4.2 million in annual regulatory costs
Next steps: From 1 January 2018, the department may issue penalties to businesses and individuals who fail to comply with the due diligence requirements.
We are here to help you comply with our illegal logging laws.
A suite of illegal logging publications, resources and guidance material is available, including education and guidance materials and resources developed in partnership with industry.
Contact us for further information on how the laws operate and whether they affect you:
phone during business hours on 1800 657 313 or if outside of Australia +61 2 6272 3933
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