Australia Illegal Logging Prohibition Act

The Australian Illegal Logging Prohibition Act, like similar legislation in the other consumer markets of the EU and U.S., was designed to support the trade of legal timber into Australia and to deny the Australian market to illegally produced wood products. In November 2012, the Act received Royal Assent, and its high-level prohibitions are in place. The Act makes it a criminal offense in Australia to:

  • import timber and timber products containing illegally sourced timber; and 

  • process Australian raw logs that have been illegally logged.

The text of the Act is available here. The Australian Parliament also maintains a detailed page on the legislative history of the Act, along with explanatory memoranda, transcripts from the Parliamentary floor, and proposed amendments.

Currently, Australian operators may not "knowingly, intentionally or recklessly" engage in the activity outlined above. Potential criminal sanctions may range up to five years's imprisonment, AUS$55,000 for an individual, and AUS$275,000 for a corporation or body corporate.

The due diligence process, the detailed list of products covered by the Act, and the operational framework for importers and processors will be laid out in regulations that are due to enter into force in November 2014. At the end of May, 2013, the Australian government will publish the proposed regulations in order to give the industry time to set up its systems.

The Australian government's Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) is easy to use and currently the best source for further information on this Act.