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Improper declaration of imported timber prosecuted for the first time

© Keystone / Christian Beutler

Last year, Switzerland opened two legal proceedings against importers of exotic wood for repeatedly failing to correctly declare their origin.  

This content was published on April 27, 2021 - 16:45
Keystone-SDA/ac

The Federal Consumer Affairs Bureau (FCAB) carried out 121 checks in 2020 to ensure that wood and wood products were declared as required by law, the Federal Department of Economic Affairs (DEFR) said on Tuesday. In two checks, the FCAB found that a product whose declaration it had already criticised before was not declared satisfactorily. For the first time, two legal proceedings were filed against the companies involved.  

Overall, almost a third of companies (32%) checked did not fully comply with the obligation to declare the species and origin of the wood they use. This is slightly lower than in 2019 (35%).  

The majority of wrongly declared products (62%) were related to the origin of the wood and concerned mainly small companies that have never been audited before. As always, these checks were mainly aimed at companies with a relatively high risk of declaring wood incorrectly. In addition, e-commerce was subject to more checks during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Ordinance on the Declaration of Wood and Wood Products, which has been in force since 2012, stipulates an obligation to indicate the species and origin of wood and wood products that are supplied to consumers. It applies to round wood, unprocessed wood and certain solid wood products, as well as charcoal. 

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