The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) received with dismay the statement made by the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) on 2 October, regarding EIA’s press release Dutch Authorities Stop Chinese Plywood Import.
We would like to provide the following response to allegations made in the TTF’s statement:
TTF accused EIA of not giving enough information to support the story and using ‘misleading’ terms in it. We refute both allegations.
TTF also said EIA ‘revised’ the article on the second day, thereby implying that we had omitted something or made an error. Again, this is false. The initial statement from EIA was revised to reflect new information received within hours of the release, in order to ensure the press release remained fully accurate and up to date.
TTF states that it contacted EIA, the Dutch Competent Authority, the company named in EIA’s release and others ‘but were unable to corroborate the story.’ However, EIA has confirmation that in September, the Netherlands’ competent authorities issued a cease-and-desist notification to Sakol, referencing violation of the EUTR.
The issue of European companies importing products that contain illegally sourced tropical timber is a long-standing problem; EIA has a history of credibly identifying breaches of the EUTR and instances of high-risk timber coming into Europe.