Swedish court rules that Myanmar's "Green Folder" is insufficient to prove that imported wood was harvested legally

Author: Jade Saunders (Forest Trends) in Ecosystem Marketplace, Published on: 28 November 2016

“Swedish Court Rules Myanmar “Green Book” Inadequate For EU Importers”, 23 Nov 2016

Swedish Administrative Courts…ruled that a certificate issued by the Myanmar Forest Products Merchants’ Federation (MFPMF) did not provide adequate proof that a shipment of teak imported into Sweden had been legally harvested. The court’s verdict follows nearly a year of injunctions from Swedish authorities and an appeal by the company, which had imported the teak via a Singapore trader in violation of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR).

The company in question, Almtra Nordic, was fined 17,000 Swedish kronor (US$1,700) and has informed Sweden’s EUTR regulator that under current circumstances it will no longer source wood from Myanmar.

Notably the ruling does not suggest that importing wood from Myanmar into the EU is illegal, only that importers need to be able to establish exactly where in the country the wood products were harvested, by whom, and develop robust systems to demonstrate that the necessary risk assessment and mitigation measures have been completed. The ruling was based on a judgement that the collection of standard MFPMF paperwork does not represent adequate Due Diligence…

…Letters obtained from the Swedish regulator…assert that wood from Myanmar is high risk due to levels of corruption and administrative problems in the country, armed conflicts in many regions where wood is harvested, and evidence of illegal harvesting…

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Related companies: Almtra Nordic