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FSC/PEFC “deemed to satisfy” - amendments rejected by Senate - won't be implemented

In an unexpected chain of events the amendments that would have made FSC and PEFC certified wood and paper products “deemed to comply” were rejected by the Senate on 8th February 2018. The Department has issued a statement here saying these amendments will no longer be implemented.

This means that importers (and domestic processors) will still need to carry out the full due diligence process described in the Regulation even if you are buying FSC or PEFC certified product. That is, you will have to gather the required information (where “reasonably practicable”) and consider “other information” before you can conclude that the risk is low.

The rejection comes after objections from the Australian trade union CFMEU and the opposition parties who considered the amendments weakened the laws. The rationale of the CFMEU can be read in Issue 398 of Timber and Forestry Enews here (page 4) and that of the Senators voting against and for the amendments can be read here and here.

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