Labor lines up illegal timber law

Tom Arup; 12/2/10

The federal government is considering making it a criminal offence to import timber that has been illegally harvested overseas. The law would be established next to a voluntary certification and verification program for timber importers, which would be set up through a range of agreements with developing nations such as Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. During the 2007 general election campaign, the government pledged to ”seek to ban” illegal timber imports. Australia has already had discussions with the US and New Zealand about common principals for any timber import certification program. Under the new law, customs or other law enforcement agencies would investigate claims of companies importing illegally logged timber.