PEFC-certified companies are now recognised as automatically meeting the due diligence requirements in Australia’s illegal logging regulation.
Under Australia’s Illegal Logging Prohibition Regulation 2012, importers of regulated timber products and processors of Australian harvested logs are required to establish and maintain a documented due diligence system.
The due diligence system sets out the process by which the importer or processor will carry out due diligence and meet the requirements of the regulation.
Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resource has determined that under PEFC (including AFS, Australia’s PEFC-endorsed national forest certification system) Chain of Custody standard, certified businesses are required to maintain an equivalent due diligence system.
This means that PEFC-certified businesses can rely on their existing business practices to comply with the due diligence system requirements under the illegal logging regulation. This means that a separate due diligence system specifically prepared for the illegal logging regulation is not required.
This recognition does not remove the requirement from certification holders to undertake due diligence. PEFC-certified businesses must comply with the other sections of the regulation – gathering information, risk assessment, risk mitigation and record keeping requirements of the regulation.