Will this give more value to UK timber?
Confor has issued a detailed paper on the implications of Brexit for its members. The document is written by Martin Glynn FICFor, the full version is avaliable on the Confur website. Here are the key bits...
Woodland Creation & Management
EAFRD supports the creation and management of woodlands where this has an environmental or rural development benefit. New planting, the creation or improvement of habitats, restoration of forests following pest and disease incidents, reducing flood risks and improving access are amongst the eligible activities. The production of timber per se is not a supported activity but many of the eligible activities will indirectly result in this.
Supply Chain and Timber Processing
The forestry supply chain and small scale timber processing sector also benefits from support through EAFRD with grants for machinery, training, buildings, innovation and collaboration. The extent to which the sector benefits varies between nations and forestry rarely has a ‘ring-fenced’ budget for such activity, instead competing with agriculture and other rural industries for a share of the funding. The delivery mechanisms also vary between nations, with the exception of Leader which is an EU wide scheme, although the nature of Leader delivery is different in each nation.
As the world’s third largest timber importer, the UK has traditionally played a significant role in the formulation of timber trade policies and been at the forefront in their implementation. Many of these focus on the sustainability of supply and originate from concerns regarding afforestation in the tropics. The EU published the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan in 2003. The Action Plan sets out a range of measures available to the EU and its member states to tackle illegal logging in the world's forests, including the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR). This was adopted in 2010 and came into force in 2013. The Timber and Timber Products (Placing on the Market) Regulation 2013 transposes the EU Timber Regulations into GB statute. The EUTR requires operators who place timber onto the market for the first time to exercise due diligence with regard to its origin and sustainability. In the UK the requirements of the EUTR are met largely through the Felling Licence system, reducing the burden for growers and operators. The EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) was transposed into the EEA Agreement in May 2015, so the UK would have to maintain the requirements of the EUTRif it became a member of the EFTA with access to the EEA. If the UK was outside of the EEA it would in theory be possible to remove the requirements although the terms of any trade agreement could still require it, as could UK government policy.