Teak from Myanmar: TTF warns on high risk of illegality in the supply chain
Following Denmark’s recent decision to prohibit Danish companies selling Teak from Myanmar on the EU market, the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) has warned its member companies of the high risk of illegal logging in the area.
According to the TTF, currently it is extremely difficult to fully document the Myanmar supply chain from forest source to export and, therefore, conducting due diligence.
However, the TTF also notes that on 16 March this year the Myanmar Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MONREC) published a statement setting out the next steps in the country’s forestry reform process. In the statement on behalf of the Union Minister, U Ohn Win, there was an acknowledgement of the complexity of the current system and a commitment to streamlining their systems. A joint focal group has been convened to prepare a document for international traders that sets out a full description of supply chain documents. This will be aligned with the restarting of logging following the current 2016-17 Logging Moratorium so that the new harvest will have improved traceability.
David Hopkins, Managing Director of the TTF said: “If the EUTR is to be successfully implemented, then there must be a level playing field in Europe. This means we should respect the decisions made in Sweden and Denmark. While noting the positive reform changes recently announced in Myanmar we continue to advise our members to exercise caution in any trade from Myanmar, be aware of ongoing reform developments and ensure that all due diligence documents are clearly in place.”