The meeting with Michael Worrell, the EUTR Enforcement Manager from
the NMRO, proved very successful amongst members, which testified once again
the importance of the subject.
As a result of the large turnout, of around 60 members and guests, the meeting
was moved to the RAF Club in Piccadilly, another venue of historical and
The presentation after lunch informed members of the work that is being carried
by the NMRO and related findings of the projects undertaken to date as well as the
status of the implementation of the EU regulation in the UK and developments in
the European context.
Mr Worrell explained that the team uses a risk-based approach and has up till now
been working on 15 projects covering different types of timber and timber
products. Some of the findings revealed flaws in companies’ due diligence
systems and their application. Common mistakes indentified included
over-reliance on supplier statements, the lack of an adequate risk assessment,
presentational issues, and the misapplication of risk mitigation due to inadequate
risk assessments and failure to identify what risks are being mitigated. However,
he also said that they have found some very good due diligence practices in place
and a collaborative approach from many UK timber companies.
At the EU level, Mr Worrell said that a proactive stance is being taken and that
sanctions have been applied already in other EU states. The UK has also taken the
lead by chairing an ad-hoc working group on EUTR enforcement matters, working
in close collaboration with Dutch counterparts. On 3rd party certification,
Mr Worrell explained to the audience that it can have a role in mitigating risks
identified in the risk assessment process and can be used in the risk assessment
itself, it does not indicate compliance with the regulation. However it is for
individual operators to utilise 3rd party certification in their due diligence
processes and when used correctly will greatly assist in the mitigation of
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