SPECIAL EDITION: EU TIMBER REGULATION
PT. Seng Fong Moulding Perkasa (SFMP), a subsidiary of Singapore-based SF Resources Group, is the largest timber flooring manufacturer in East Java, Indonesia. A GFTN trade participant since 2006, SFMP obtained FSC CoC certification in August 2011, and now maintains a chain of custody document management system to run its entire production process. The company also obtained the Timber Legality Assurance System (TLAS)certificate in November 2010, a mandatory verification for exporters. SFMP exports more than 18,000 m3 of wood products annually, including to Europe and Australia. Over the years, SFMP has grappled with the challenge of attaining enough certified wood to fulfill demand.
Here, SFMP’s General Manager Koh Ee Lin discusses what the company is doing to prepare for the EU Timber Regulation.
What steps have you taken to prepare for the EU Timber Regulation and ensure that the timber you sell to European buyers is in compliance with the new law and originates from legal sources?
Since SFMP became a trade participant of GFTN in 2006, our company’s direction is to deal only with legal timber, and this policy was implemented before any of these legislations were in place. Other than due diligence on our part, we are also working with several third party auditors to verify the origin of our timber.
Specifically, what kind of information are you gathering to demonstrate to buyers in Europe that the timber comes from legal origin?
Part of our due diligence process involves obtaining information and documentation about concessions or plantations which we are procuring from, to ensure that they are legal and licensed. For each receipt of timber, we also insist that suppliers provide us with the source documents for us to back-track the timber to its origin.
How are you going to provide your client with information that the supply chain is controlled?
Our factory is FSC CoC accredited and TLAS Certified. Part of this accreditation involves regular audits and checks to ensure that our operations are in line with the standards requirements. We also have check points at various stages of our supply chain to ensure that our procedures are running correctly and consistently.
What are the main challenges or concerns that you are facing in preparing for this new legislation?
The challenge we see with this new legislation is in streamlining the procedures so that there is no duplication of functions and responsibilities. This will also help in reducing costs and time wastages in documentation. On our end, our company is ready to meet the requirements of EUTR.
Australia is one of SFMP’s largest export markets. How are you preparing for that particular illegal logging bill that was just passed, and what similarities and/or differences do you see compared to the EUTR?
SFMP has been exporting third party legality verified timber into Australia since 2007, so we do not foresee any problems meeting the requirements of the illegal logging bill. Pertaining to our operations, there is no significant difference between the two legislations.