Skip to main content

The Office for Product Safety and Standards releases updates to the guidance on timber and FLEGT licences

Published on: 20 January 2022


The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) has updated the guidance it published on Regulation: Timber and FLEGT licences. 

The European Timber Regulations (EUTR) and Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) no longer apply in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales). The Timber and Timber Products Placing on Market Regulations (UKTR) and UK FLEGT Regulations have applied in Great Britain from 1 January 2021, but the requirements have been transposed from EUTR and remain essentially the same for importation onto the UK marketplace as they where for importation onto the EU marketplace.

Timber supply chains are regulated to ensure harvesting practises are legal, encourage sustainable harvesting practises and support global forest governance. Businesses trading in timber and timber products must take steps to ensure that they originate from legal sources.

Timber imported from countries that have implemented voluntary partnership agreements (VPAs) with the UK – currently only Indonesia – must be accompanied by a FLEGT licence.

The guidance that the OPSS published on “Regulation: Timber and FLEGT” covers imported and domestic timber and a broad range of timber products, including composites such as furniture, pulp and paper. The sections in the guidance are:

  • Extent of obligation
  • How to comply
  • Monitoring organisations
  • Trading through Northern Ireland
  • Complying with the FLEGT licensing regulations
  • The role of the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS)
  • Where to find out more
    • For traders or operators in Great Britain
    • For traders or operators in Northern Ireland

The update to the monitoring organisations saw EnviroSense (International) Ltd being recognised as one of the private entities which provide GB operators with operational due diligence systems. EnviroSense was recognised on 21 December 2021.

British Marine suggests that you take the time, if you haven’t already, to read through this publication from the OPSS on Timber and FLEGT licences to make sure that you are aware of the changes that came into effect from 1 January 2021. Also to make sure you are up to date with the update that has been made to the Monitoring Organisations section of the guidance. 

You can find a link to the OPSS website where you can read through the document on timber and FLEGT licences here and you can find the link to the list of Monitoring Organisations here.