Swiss Timber Ordinance

Su(HHV/ OCBo/OCoL) from January 2022 – Equivalence with EU Timber Regulation

Switzerland will bring the Timber Trade Ordinance (HHV/L’ordonnance sur le commerce du bois – OCBo/La nuova ordinanza sul commercio di legno – OCoL) into force on January 1, 2022.

The new regulation corresponds to the EU Timber Regulation(EUTR) and obliges market participants (first placers) who place timber products on the market to carry out due diligence and risk assessments.

The aim of the ordinance is to ensure that no wood or wood products that have been illegally felled or traded are placed on the Swiss market. It is also important for dismantling trade barriers with the EU.

What does this mean for companies?

Anyone importing timber products into Switzerland for the first time is responsible for ensuring that they are harvested and traded legally. You must comply with a duty of care.

The regulation also applies to imports from the EU. Swiss operators must have a confirmation of first placing on the EU market (this would confirm that the EU operator has already fulfilled the EUTR due diligence obligation).

Companies already operating in the EU market will be familiar with the due diligence requirements – although enforcement may vary from one Member State to another. The Swiss regulation also follows the transposition of the EUTR regulations into the UK’s UKTR, creating an almost uniform approach across the European continent.

What does due diligence mean?

A due diligence system comprises three pillars. Information gathering, risk assessment and risk mitigation.

First, market participants must obtain information from their direct supplier – documents that prove the type of wood, country of origin, etc.

In our guide you will find the documents that we request for our customers.

An assessment can then be made of the risk that the product may contain wood from illegal logging.

The risk criteria include the following:

  • Type of wood product (i.e. composite, solid wood, paper, pulp)
  • The spread of illegal logging of certain tree species
  • Frequency of illegal logging practices at the logging site
  • The complexity of the supply chain
  • The legislation of the country of origin and the corresponding risk of corruption

Global Traceability has many years of experience in implementing due diligence systems for our customers. Our risk assessment services support a thorough information gathering process at RADIX Tree before our experts assess the evidence provided. Please contact us for further information.