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Intergraf welcomes European Parliament’s report on EU legal framework to halt and reverse EU-driven global deforestation

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Intergraf welcomes European Parliament’s report on EU legal framework to halt and reverse EU-driven global deforestation

October 27, 2020 - 08:17
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BRUSSELS, Oct. 27, 2020 (Press Release) -Intergraf welcomes the European Parliament’s adoption of a report on an EU legal framework to halt and reverse EU-driven global deforestation (Rapporteur: MEP Delara Burkhardt, Germany, S&D). We support the European Parliament’s call to widen the scope of the EU Timber Regulation to include printed products.

In this report, the European Parliament acknowledges the “limited scope of timber products covered” by the current EU Timber Regulation and calls to “widen the scope to cover e.g. printed products”.

Since the adoption of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) in 2010, Intergraf has advocated for the extension of its scope to printed products. As the European Commission is currently evaluating the EUTR and its scope, we strongly support the European Parliament’s call to ensure that printed products are covered.

Printed products must be included in the scope of the European Timber Regulation

The EU Timber Regulation is one of the European Union’s key measures to combat illegal logging. It aims to prevent timber products that derive from illegally sourced forests being sold on the European market. Many paper-based products are already covered by the Regulation, but printed products are not. Millions of euros worth of printed products therefore still enter the European market without any assurance on the safe sourcing of their paper.

According to Beatrice Klose, Intergraf Secretary General:

“Illegal logging blemishes the reputation of the printing industry and the image of printed products. It is not acceptable that the reputation of European companies is tarnished because of illegally sourced wood content in printed products that are placed on the European market. Moreover, it is important that European consumers can trust that any printed products found on the European market do not contain any illegally sourced wood.”

This omission of printed products from the scope of the EUTR represents a significant environmental loophole in the Regulation. It also distorts competition between printed products produced in the European Union using compliant raw materials and those produced outside the European Union, which can be freely imported and placed on the European market regardless of the origin of their raw material.

Laetitia Reynaud, Policy Adviser at Intergraf, clarified that:

“Extending the scope of the EUTR would not create additional regulatory burdens on European printers as the paper and board they purchase is compliant. Instead, it would secure that imported printed products offer the same guarantee as European products.”

The European printing industry is made up of some 110,000 printing companies (95% SMEs), which employ approx. 600,000 people and generate a combined turnover of €79 billion.

Intergraf (www.intergraf.eu) is the European printing industry association. We are a Brussels-based umbrella organisation with 21 members from 20 countries. Our primary task is to represent and advocate for the printing industry in Europe, working with European Union to support the sector’s competitiveness through advocacy, information-sharing, networking, social dialogue and European projects.