Proposed legislation for a legal harvest assurance system for forestry
In July 2020, Cabinet agreed the Forests Act 1949 should be amended to establish a national legal harvest assurance system. Find out what's being proposed and why.
Ensuring our timber is legally harvested
The Government wants to establish a national legal harvest assurance system that:
- reflects New Zealand’s commitment to reduce the global trade in illegally harvested timber
- ensures the legality of New Zealand’s timber products
- strengthens market access assurance for timber exporters
- strengthens market access certainty for New Zealand forestry exports to jurisdictions with legal harvest requirements
- brings New Zealand more in line with the systems being introduced by our key trading partners.
A range of law changes needed to establish the system
The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) is now working with the Parliamentary Counsel Office on developing legislation that would:
- establish a definition of "legally harvested"
- require operators (log traders, and importers and exporters of timber products) in the timber products supply chain to be registered and conduct due diligence and risk mitigation
- oblige forest owners or people who have the right to harvest to provide information on the harvest to others in the supply chain
- provide for exemptions, a compliance and enforcement regime, and other elements needed for a legal harvest assurance system.
If the law changes are approved, the legal harvest assurance system is intended to:
- provide long-term market access for timber exporters
- create greater transparency in the timber marketplace
- improve market confidence in the forestry industry.
Proposed timeframe and consultation
Subject to Cabinet approval, the intention is to have the legislation ready for introduction to Parliament in late 2021. After the first reading, there will be formal consultation at a select committee.
Documents about a national timber legality assurance system
Who to contact
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