PRESS RELEASE 03/18 | 'Intergraf calls on the European printing industries to mobilise: ALL printed products on the European market should be safe from illegal logging regardless of their origin'

Wednesday, 14 March 2018 12:45

The EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) is one of the key measures of the European Union to combat illegal logging. It aims to prevent products that derive from illegally sourced wood being sold on the European market.

This European Regulation from 2010 (applicable since 2013) covers among others furniture, prefabricated building, paper and stationary products, but it does not cover printed products. This does not only create a significant environmental loophole but also a tremendous distortion of competition between non-EU printers, exempt from any requirement in that regard, and European printers.

Although printed products are currently not covered by the Regulation, paper purchased by European printers is covered. Indeed, printers based in the European Union are subject to the traceability requirement for the paper they purchase and therefore provide their customers with printed products protected from illegal logging.

By contrast, imported printed products entering the European market fall entirely outside the scope of the Regulation and could therefore originate from illegally harvested forest. Printers based outside the EU - in countries which are not applying equivalent legislation - can freely import printed products regardless of the origin of their raw material.

Intergraf has assessed that more than € 1.35 billion worth of printed products imported into the European market may be from unsafe origin. The pressure from imports of printed products from high-risk countries intensified over the last decades – European imports of printed products from China for instance have quadrupled since 2000.

Illegal logging blemishes the reputation of our value chain and the image of our products. It is not acceptable that the reputation of European printing companies is tarnished because of the behaviour of non-European competitors. Moreover, it is important that European consumers can trust that the books or cards they buy on the European markets do not contain any illegally harvested tropical wood. The European Union should ensure that ALL printed products on the European market are safe from illegal logging regardless of their origin.

Intergraf will contribute to the public consultation and call on the European Commission to restore fair competition, close the environmental loophole and secure the reputation of and confidence in printed products by extending the scope of the EU Timber Regulation to printed products.

Intergraf calls on the industry to mobilise and largely participate in the public consultation: https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/EUTR_Product_Scope_survey2018

The consultation is available in 23 European languages and is open until 24 April 2018. Contact Intergraf for additional arguments and data.

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