First Sweden, then Denmark and now the UK Timber Trade Federation (TTF) have warned buyers that they are breaking laws by importing teak from Myanmar. TTF were even tougher and demanded a response from European Union.
According to NEPCon, a Danish non-profit organization, has asked seven Danish companies to adopt diligence systems if they want to keep selling teak from Myanmar in Europe. NEPCon says that authorities audited some companies that imported teak from Myanmar after being notified by the Environmental Investigation Agency. Danish authorities concluded that the systems used nowadays by the seven companies cited above are not efficient to avoid the use of illegal wood. This raises questions on if it’s really possible for importers of teak from Myanmar to fulfill all the requirements of European Union’s Wood Regulation.
The problem, according to NEPCon, is that Myanmar authorities are not providing the EU importers access to information on the origin of their wood and that they don’t have systems that avoid the entry of illegal timber into the market.
In reaction to Denmark’s new rules, the Myanmar Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation released a statement in which they acknowledged the challenges in tracing timber back to the forest because, at present, their system is primarily designed for the recording statistics.
Now TTF is asking the rest of Europa to adopt the same actions taken by Sweden and Denmark against buyers of Myanmar’s teak. David Hopkins, Managing Director of TTF, says that “since Myanmar’s authorities can’t guarantee their legality, TTF members should avoid buying teak from Myanmar.”.