The decision follows EIA’s submission of evidence that Danish timber company Keflico violated the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) and sets a precedent for other EUTR Competent Authorities.

Myanmar Timber Enterprise

Myanmar Timber Enterprise log depot, Sagaing Division, Myanmar (c) EIA

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has today welcomed a ruling by Danish authorities that have placed injunctions on all Danish operators placing Burmese teak on the country’s market.

The decision follows EIA’s submission of evidence that Danish timber company Keflico violated the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) and sets a precedent for other EUTR Competent Authorities.

Denmark’s actions follow a November 2016 decision in Sweden where enforcement officials successfully prosecuted Almtra Nordic for breaching the EUTR.

“Denmark’s leadership in EUTR enforcement underpins similar rulings already made in Sweden and leaves no doubt that anyone placing Burmese teak on the EU market under current conditions is in breach of European law,” says EIA forests campaigner Peter Cooper.

“With Denmark setting clear precedent on a case submitted by EIA, we now expect authorities in Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and the UK to rapidly resolve the remaining 12 cases submitted by EIA,” he adds.

EIA’s cases focused on the due diligence requirements of the EUTR, which oblige companies placing timber on the EU market to identify and mitigate any risks of illegality within their supply chains.

Due to the high risk of illegality and a fundamental lack of transparency by the Myanmar Timber Enterprise (a state-owned company responsible for the cutting and export of timber in Myanmar), it is not currently possible for any company to successfully apply due diligence to Burmese teak.

“The Myanmar Timber Enterprise needs to urgently address illegality within its operations and provide access to independent monitoring of its operations – or risk permanently losing access to Europe’s lucrative teak market,” Cooper concludes.