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Illegally Logged Timber (Prohibition of Import, Sale or Distribution) Bill


 

Illegally Logged Timber (Prohibition of Import,

 

Sale or Distribution) Bill

 

 
 

Contents

1   

Interpretation

2   

Offences

3   

Penalties, forfeiture, etc

4   

Orders and regulations

5   

Short title, commencement and extent

 

Bill 74                                                                                                 

55/1

 
 

Illegally Logged Timber (Prohibition of Import, Sale or Distribution) Bill

1

 

A

Bill

To

Make it illegal in the United Kingdom for a person or company to import,

export, transport, sell, receive, acquire or purchase timber or timber products

illegally taken, harvested, possessed, transported, sold or exported from their

country of origin; and for connected purposes. 

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and

consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present

Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1       

Interpretation

In this Act—

“applicable legislation” means the legislation in force in the country of

harvest covering the following areas of law—

(a)   

the conservation of biological diversity;

5

(b)   

forest management and resource use rights;

(c)   

environmental protection including environmental impact

assessment;

(d)   

rights to harvest timber within gazetted boundaries;

(e)   

payments for harvest rights and timber including duties related

10

to timber harvesting;

(f)   

timber harvesting including directly related environmental and

forest legislation;

(g)   

property tenure;

(h)   

the rights of indigenous peoples;

15

(i)   

third parties’ legal rights concerning use and tenure that is

affected by timber harvesting;

(j)   

labour and community welfare legislation;

(k)   

taxes, import and export duties, royalties and fees related to

harvesting, transportation and marketing; and

20

(l)   

trade and customs legislation, in so far as the forest sector is

concerned;

“distributor” means any person who, for professional and commercial

purposes, irrespective of the selling technique used—

 

Bill 74                                                                                                 

55/1

 
 

Illegally Logged Timber (Prohibition of Import, Sale or Distribution) Bill

2

 

(a)   

manufactures and sells wood;

(b)   

sells wood manufactured by another person; or

(c)   

imports or exports wood into the United Kingdom;

“illegally” means, in relation to wood which has been harvested, in

contravention of the applicable legislation;

5

“importer” means any person established within the United Kingdom

who is responsible for the physical introduction for commercial

purposes of wood or wood products into the United Kingdom;

“person” includes any individual or organisation of any kind subject to

any jurisdiction in the United Kingdom;

10

“wood” means the timber and timber products set out as at 1 January 2011

in the Combined Nomenclature set out in Annex 1 to Council

Regulation (EEC) No 2658/87 on the tariff and statistical nomenclature

and on the Common Customs Tariff.

2       

Offences

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(1)   

A distributor or importer who sells, keeps for sale, or offers for sale any wood

that has been—

(a)   

harvested, sold, taken or possessed illegally in the country from which

the wood was originally harvested; or

(b)   

exported illegally from a country from which it was originally

20

harvested; or

(c)   

imported illegally into a country through which it passed or was

transhipped;

   

shall be guilty of an offence.

(2)   

A person (“P”) shall not be guilty of an offence under subsection (1) if P proves

25

to the satisfaction of the court—

(a)   

that at the time the alleged offence was committed P had no reason to

believe that the wood had been harvested, sold, taken, possessed,

exported or imported illegally; and

(b)   

that at the time when the wood first came into his or her possession or

30

control P made such enquiries as in the circumstances were reasonable

in order to ascertain whether it had been harvested, sold, taken,

possessed, exported or imported illegally.

(3)   

Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2), P shall be taken to have

made such enquiries as are mentioned there if P provides to the court a

35

statement by the person from whom P obtained possession or control of the

wood (“the supplier”), which is signed by the supplier or by a person

authorised by him or her, and which states that—

(a)   

the supplier made enquiries at the time the wood came into his or her

possession in order to ascertain whether it was wood which had been

40

harvested, sold, taken, possessed, exported or imported illegally; and

(b)   

the supplier had no reason to believe at the time he or she relinquished

possession of the wood to P that the article was at that time wood which

had been harvested, sold, taken, possessed, exported or imported

illegally.

45

(4)   

A person who provides, for the purposes of subsection (3), a statement which

he or she knows to be false in a material particular, or recklessly provides for

those purposes a certificate which is false in a material particular, shall be

guilty of an offence.

 
 

Illegally Logged Timber (Prohibition of Import, Sale or Distribution) Bill

3

 

(5)   

A person who buys any wood that has been—

(a)   

harvested, sold, taken or possessed illegally in the country from which

the wood was originally harvested; or

(b)   

exported illegally from a country from which it was originally

harvested; or

5

(c)   

imported illegally into a country through which it passed or was

transhipped;

   

and who at the time of purchase was aware that the wood was harvested, sold,

taken, possessed, exported or imported illegally shall be guilty of an offence.

3       

Penalties, forfeiture, etc

10

(1)   

A distributor or importer guilty of an offence under—

(a)   

section 2(1) shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment

for a term not exceeding 5 years or a fine not exceeding £200,000, or

both,

(b)   

section 2(4) shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment

15

for a term not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding £10,000, or both.

(2)   

The maximum fine which may be imposed under subsection (1) shall be

determined as if the person convicted had been convicted of an offence in

respect of each consignment of wood or wood products.

(3)   

The Secretary of State may, by order, increase the penalties specified in

20

subsection (1).

(4)   

The court by which any distributor or importer is convicted of an offence under

section 2 shall order the forfeiture of any wood or wood product in respect of

which the offence was committed.

(5)   

A person found guilty of an offence under section 2(5) shall be liable on

25

summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 1 on the standard scale.

4       

Orders and regulations

(1)   

The Secretary of State may by regulations make such supplementary provision

as appears appropriate in consequence of, or otherwise in connection with, this

Act.

30

(2)   

Regulations and orders under this Act shall be made by statutory instrument.

(3)   

No order under section 3(3) may be made unless a draft of the order has been

laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.

(4)   

Regulations under subsection (1) are subject to annulment in pursuance of a

resolution of either House of Parliament.

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5       

Short title, commencement and extent

(1)   

This Act may be cited as the Illegally Logged Timber (Prohibition of Import,

Sale or Distribution) Act 2011.

(2)   

This Act comes into force at the end of the period of 2 months beginning with

the day on which it is passed.

40

(3)   

This Act extends to England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

 
 

 

 
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