Under Australia’s illegal logging laws, it is a criminal offence to intentionally, knowingly or recklessly process domestically grown raw logs that have been illegally logged.
This means that if you have obtained domestically grown logs and you have reason to suspect they have been illegally logged, you should not proceed to process the logs. If you do process the logs and they are later found to have been illegally logged, you could face serious penalties, including heavy fines and potential imprisonment.
Please note only certain entities (such as constitutional corporations) are regulated. In addition, these requirements only apply to processors of Australian grown logs.
If you are processing logs, you also need to undertake a proactive process to ensure the logs were legally logged. This process is referred to as carrying out ‘due diligence’.
Due diligence involves obtaining information that supports the legality of the logs you process, using this information to undertake a risk assessment, and then, if necessary, mitigating any unacceptable risk.
More information on the due diligence process, please refer to Guidance for processors.
Who is a processor?
A processor is an entity who processes domestic logs. This includes activities such as the processing of logs into woodchips, sawnlogs, pulp, or other timber products. Preparation activities undertaken at the harvest site, such as felling, de-limbing and the preparation of logs for transport, are not considered processing.
Only certain entities are regulated under the laws. This includes constitutional corporations, which can include
- a corporation incorporated under the Corporations Act 2001, with an Australian Company Number ACN or PTY LTD in their legal business name; or
- a corporation incorporated under state or territory legislation; or
- a body established under legislation to be incorporated
(i.e. many statutory authorities)
- a foreign, financial or trading corporation.
Entities which are not constitutional corporations include:
- state authorities not established as a body corporate;
- partnerships; and
- unincorporated associations or individuals.
People or businesses processing logs on behalf of a constitutional corporation, the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth authority; for trade with other countries or between Australian states or territories; or in a territory are also regulated.
Where can I find more information?
The department is here to help you comply with the illegal logging laws.
A suite of publications is available under the further information and resources section of the illegal logging webpage including State Specific Guidelines (SSG) and compliance guidance materials for importers and processors of regulated timber products.
These documents are intended to help you better understand the legal frameworks for harvesting timber in each Australian jurisdiction and how to comply with the illegal logging laws.
The SSG’s can also assist you in carrying out your due diligence obligations. The Timber Development Association, with funding from the Australian Government and supported by the Australian timber products industry, has developed a range of tools and guidance that provide one way of satisfying the new due diligence requirements. These are freely available from Timber Due Diligence.
For further information on how the laws operate and whether they affect your business, you can contact the department via:
- phone the department during business hours on 1800 657 313 or if outside of Australia +61 2 6272 3933
- email illegal logging
- subscribe to the illegal logging mailing list to stay informed of the release of any new information or guidance materials or any upcoming information events