Switzerland began enforcement of the Timber Trade Ordinance (Holzhandelsverordnung – HHV/L’ordonnance sur le commerce du bois – OCBo/La nuova ordinanza sul commercio di legno – OCoL) from 1st January 2022.
The new regulation is equivalent to the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), requiring operators (first-placers) placing timber products onto the market to implement due diligence and perform risk assessments.
The aim of the regulation is that no timber or timber products that have been illegally felled or traded are placed on the market in Switzerland. It is also important for reducing trade barriers with the EU.
What does it mean for businesses?
Anyone who imports wooden products into Switzerland for the first time is responsible for ensuring they have been legally harvested and traded. They must implement due diligence.
Significantly, imports from the EU are subject to the regulation. Swiss operators must have confirmation of the first-placing on the EU market (this would confirm the EU operator has already performed EUTR due diligence).
Companies already operating within the EU market are familiar with the due diligence requirements – although enforcement can vary across member states. The Swiss regulation also follows the UK’s transfer of EUTR rules to their own UKTR, creating a near uniform approach across the European continent.
For more information about the Swiss regulation and Due Diligence, you can read this article.