|Ekki Demise as New Import Regulations are Introduced|
Ground protection solution expert, John Roberts Managing Director of Timbermat Ltd warns that new import rules being introduced in 2013 are likely to force wood traders to find alternatives to Ekki, which has been synonymous with temporary roadways and the construction industry for decades.
The new ruling is aimed at prohibiting the placing of illegally produced wood products in to the EU market to help combat the unlawful felling of trees. The authorities hope the new measures will help combat climate change and deforestation of rainforests.
Illegal logging not only deprives governments of tax revenue, but encourages corruption and bad practice, has a negative impact on social infrastructures and human well-being, causes the loss of long-term security and income for forest-based communities, the loss of long-term supplies of timber threatening both quantity and quality, as well as causing the degradation and clearing of forests and consequent loss of habitats for plants and animals.
For years contractors have used the African wood Ekki for outside construction because it requires no preservative treatment and is therefore entirely benign to the environment, the worker and the public, making it ideal for temporary road and pedestrian surfaces. Unfortunately due to the new EU Timber Regulations, companies may have to seek alternative materials to Ekki for their work. Ekki will still be imported into the UK but in much smaller quantities and this is likely to impact on its price.
Our wood experts are well aware of the new EU Timber Regulations and their implications. At Timbermat we have long been anticipating the demise of Ekki as the new regulations are introduced because of the implications on tropical timber. That is why we have been researching alternative woods which have similar qualities to Ekki. These are more sustainable species and are more widely available with no threat to the environment.
The new EU Timber Regulations require certificates of origin for all imported timber to show they meet all regulations and legal requirements, and all companies using timber or placing timber products on the EU market must follow a ”Due Diligence System” (DDS) to minimise the risk of importing illegal timber into Europe.
Timber traders will have to provide basic information indicating from whom they buy their wood and whom they sell wood products to. Anyone flouting the new regulations could be risking severe penalties. The consequences of failing to meet the new regulations means you could risk the seizure of your timber and timber products, be immediately suspended from trading and fined proportionately to the damage resulting from any infringement.
You will have to provide proof of due diligence for all timber products, pulp and paper, wooden furniture and prefabricated buildings imported into the EU, however recycled timber products are not covered by the regulations.
For more information contact Timbermat on 0161 442 3157 or visit the website www.timbermat.co.uk