The Illegal Logging Prohibition (ILP) Act has been in force since November 2012. It is designed to support legal timber trade by preventing illegal wood products from entering the Australian market.
The following actions constitute criminal offenses under the Act:
- Import of timber and timber products containing illegally sourced timber.
- Processing of Australian raw logs that have been illegally logged.
The ILP Act defines illegal timber and timber products as “…timber harvested in contravention of laws in force in the place (whether or not in Australia) where the timber was harvested.”
The details of the due diligence process are laid out in a regulation which came into force in November 2014, and which also includes a list of products covered by the Act.
Importers of regulated timber products are obliged to have a due diligence system in place. The system must cover the following key elements:
- Gathering information to determine whether there is any risk that the timber being sourced has been illegally harvested.
- Identifying and assessing the risk of timber being illegally logged.
- Mitigating risk if necessary.
In practice the due diligence requirements are very similar to those of the EU Timber Regulation.