New Zealand introduces Forests (legal Harvest Assurance) Amendment Bill, blocking imports of illegally sourced timber; it also introduces legislative framework for legal harvest assurance to provide global confidence in NZ's timber and wood products

Sample article from our Forestry & Timberland

WELLINGTON, New Zealand , May 17, 2023 (press release) –

Source: New Zealand Government

The Government has sent a clear message to illegally harvested  traders that they will not be tolerated in New Zealand. 

A new Act will stop the import of illegally harvested  and also provides the international market with confidence in New Zealand’s  and  products by introducing a new legislative framework for legal harvest assurance.

The Forests (legal Harvest Assurance) Amendment Bill received Royal assent and  became an Act of Parliament on 17 May. 

Forestry Minister Peeni Henare says the Act cements New Zealand’s position on combatting the trade of illegally harvested , which is a significant problem globally.

“The trade in illegally harvested  is a major problem in the world today. Approximately 15 to 30 per cent of the global  trade involves illegally harvested . Illegal  not only destroys forests and degrades ecosystems, but it also strips the economic livelihood of local communities and responsible companies. 

“By introducing a legal harvest assurance system for  products, New Zealand is taking a tangible step to support international efforts to stamp out the trade in illegally harvested  products and provide assurance that our country is committed to trading only in legally harvested .”

The legal harvest assurance system will require forest owners,  traders, primary processors,  exporters and importers to provide assurance the  they are dealing with has been legally harvested or sourced from  that has been legally harvested. 

“At the same time, it provides importers and our domestic processors and exporters with a government assurance framework to support their businesses that will demonstrate that they have completed due diligence on the legal harvest of the  products they are trading.

“The Act is also needed to quash the importation of illegally harvested  products. With a rising volume of imported  products, it is important to ensure these products are sourced from legally harvested forests overseas.”

Minister Henare said major trading partners such as Australia, United States, the European Union, Vietnam, China, Indonesia, Japan and Republic of Korea have implemented or are developing their own legislation to prevent the trade of illegal harvested 

“This assurance system will bring us in line with these countries to ensure the protection of New Zealand’s forestry and  sector. We export nearly 85 per cent of our  products to these countries. Without a legislative scheme for legal harvest, we run the risk that we can no longer export to these markets.”

The Act allows for up to three years for commencement and a further 12 months for compliance. The Ministry for Primary Industries and Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forestry Service will be administering and facilitating its implementation. During this time, officials will consult and engage with industry to develop regulations that are practical yet robust.  


MIL OSI New Zealand News -

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