First wave of Italian due diligence probes

Initial investigations by the Italian EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) Competent Authority (CA) are expected to identify “administrative offences” by some operator companies, according to industry association Fedecomlegno.  

The CA, which is the Italian Agriculture and Forestry Ministry, launched its first wave of EUTR ‘controls’ in July, via the CITES operational units of the State Forestry Corps (SFC).

The exercise focused on higher illegality risk market areas, but concentrating so far on the lumber sector rather than finished goods, due to the ‘simpler supply chain’.  Risk was assessed in terms of country of origin and species.

“The SFC verifies use of an updated due diligence system (DDS) and operators’ risk procedures,” said Fedecomlegno Chief Executive Stefano Dezzutto. “It requests documentary evidence of risk assessment conducted for identified products and risk mitigation evidence, if necessary. Some documents were taken away for further study.”

Members informed Fedecomlegno that the investigations are expected to uncover some non-compliance in terms of “failing to put in place and maintain required due diligence measures and procedures”.

However, companies using the ‘LegnOK’ DDS, developed by Italian EUTR Monitoring Organisation Conlegno, are not expected to experience difficulties.

“The CA can impose administrative and criminal sanctions’ on offenders,” said Mr Dezzutto.