The Illegal Logging Compliance Advice Notice 1/2016 has been published and is available on the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
The notice advises that the illegal logging ‘soft-start’ compliance period has been extended beyond its original expiry date of 30 May 2016.
The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources initially announced an 18-month ‘soft-start’ compliance period to run from 30 November 2014 to 30 May 2016.
During this period, the department has not issued penalties to businesses found to be not fully compliant with the due diligence requirements.
On 25 February 2016, the Federal Government released the final report of the KPMG led “Independent review of the impact of the illegal logging regulations on small business”.
This proposed a package of regulatory and non-regulatory reforms to minimise the costs of complying with the Regulation.
In light of this process and the potential for further changes to the Regulation, the department has decided to extend the initial ‘soft-start’ compliance period until any amendments from the KPMG review have been finalised.
This is expected to extend the soft-start period until late 2016 or early 2017.
A further Compliance Advice Notice will be released to advise when the ‘soft-start’ compliance period will end.