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Are you an Operator or Trader?


If your business is importing or trading wood, wood furniture and other wood products in the European Union, you should be well underway to implementing the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) to ensure that illegally harvested wood is not part of your product or supply chain. If not, there is a risk that you are currently breaking the law, which can lead to substantial fines and confiscation of goods.  

Here are five steps to identify your role and responsibilities:

  1. Find out if your product is covered. Many wood products fall under the EUTR but not all products do. You can check this list to see if your product is covered by the EUTR.  


  2. Determine if you are an ‘Operator’ or a ‘Trader’. The EUTR distinguishes between businesses by separating who initially place wood or wood products on the EU market (defined as ‘Operators’) and businesses trading in wood or wood products already placed on the EU market (defined as ‘Traders’).


  3. Understand your responsibilities. ‘Operators’ need to fulfil EUTR due diligence requirements. Both ‘Operators’ and ‘Traders’ are required to keep a record for 5 years of all buyers and suppliers they have traded with. Learn more about the due diligence requirements here.


  4. Consult your Competent Authority. While enforcement and the effectiveness of implementation vary across the EU, the rules do not differ and apply to all EU member states. This list provides you with contact details for the Competent Authority (CA) in your country.  


  5. Act. The EUTR was introduced in 2013, but many ‘Operators’ and ‘Traders’ are still unaware of its existence. Member states across the EU are now introducing measures to align with the regulation by performing customs checks on imported goods and on-site visits to companies. Not complying with the EUTR could have major consequences for your business.

Click here to access the EU Timber Regulation as adopted by the European Union.



The European Commission (donor) is not responsible for any claims or views presented in this material. The European Commission's support for the production of this publication does not constitute endorsement of the contents which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of information contained therein.