Customs brokers are not directly regulated under Australia’s illegal logging laws. The main legal obligations are with businesses that import wood, pulp and paper products into Australia.
However, your clients may ask for help understanding their responsibilities. They may also ask you to answer an illegal logging Community Protection Question (CPQ) on their behalf.
What your clients need to do
Australia’s illegal logging laws make it a criminal offence to import illegally logged timber.
This means that if your client believes that timber or timber products have been illegally logged, they should not import them.
How you can help
You can refer your clients to information for importers to learn what they need to do.
Translated fact sheets are also available in several languages. These may help you educate clients from a non-English speaking background on their responsibilities.
Answering the illegal logging CPQ
You may be called on to answer the illegal logging CPQ on your clients’ behalf.
Your client will be asked to answer the illegal logging CPQ when they import a regulated timber product. The CPQ is your client’s declaration that they have satisfied their due diligence responsibilities.
The illegal logging CPQ (Lodgement Question #510) asks:
“Has the importer complied with due diligence requirements of the Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012 and associated regulations? (if the product is exempt or does not contain timber, answer yes)”
You can answer yes if:
- your client has done their due diligence and found their product is low risk
- their product is exempt from the due diligence requirements, or
- their product does not contain any timber or wood-based elements
Regardless of the response provided for the CPQ, the goods will not be held at the border for this purpose. It will also not trigger any biosecurity processes or entry management fees.
However, we do monitor answers to this question. We use this data to inform our compliance efforts.
It is up to you to decide what level of assurance you need from your client to answer the illegal logging CPQ. In most cases, you should be able to draw on your existing client-broker arrangements.
An industry generated Legality Compliance Toolkit provides some useful guidance and tools for answering the illegal logging CPQ. This includes a CPQ decision tree and suggested broker/client import declaration form.
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