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Hidden cost in imported tissues and other timber products

Hidden cost in imported timber products

Importers must take due diligence to ensure the products they are importing are not manufactured from illegally logged timber.

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Leonie Ferretter

Partner, Trade & Customs

KPMG Australia

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A legislation package, introduced in 2012, was designed to combat global illegal logging practices, and to prohibit the importation of timber and timber products that have been illegally logged in contravention of local laws.

The relevant legislation here is the Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012 (Cth) (the Act) and the Illegal Logging Prohibition Regulation 2012 (Cth) (the Regulations).

What are regulated products?

The legislation does not only include timber, but extends to timber products such as wood, pulp and paper products – think furniture and toilet paper, paper napkins, tissues, packaging and other every day articles made from paper and pulp (“Regulated Product”).

It should be noted that bamboo, bark, rattan and similar vegetable products are not classified as timber products. Products that are 100 years old or greater are considered antiques and are also not regulated under this legislation.

Due diligence requirements

Importers of any Regulated Product must in all circumstances satisfy themselves that the products they are importing are not manufactured from illegally logged timber. It is not sufficient to simply obtain a declaration from the supplier to this effect.

Rather, a process of full due diligence is required to be established and documented and is, in fact, a legal requirement for the importation of Regulated Product.

To read more of this article, specifically on the basic principles that should be applied, please log in to KPMG Tax Now.

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