Denmark sanctions entire Myanmar teak industry

16 March 2017
Denmark sanctions entire Myanmar teak industry
A crane hoists a log at a holding area along the Yangon river in Yangon. Photo: Ye Aung Thu/AFP

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has welcomed a ruling by Danish authorities which have placed injunctions on all Danish operators placing Myanmar teak on the country’s market, according to a statement by the Non-Governmental Organisation.
The decision follows EIA’s submission of evidence that Danish timber company Keflico violated the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) and sets a clear precedent that other EUTR Competent Authorities must follow.
Denmark’s actions follow a November 2016 decision in Sweden where enforcement officials successfully prosecuted Almtra Nordic for breaching the EUTR.
“Denmark’s leadership in EUTR enforcement underpins similar rulings already made in Sweden and leaves no doubt that anyone placing Burmese teak on the EU market under current conditions is in breach of European law,” said EIA Forests Campaigner Peter Cooper.
“With Denmark setting a clear precedent on a case submitted by EIA, we now expect authorities in Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and the UK to rapidly resolve the remaining 12 cases submitted by EIA.” 
EIA’s cases focused on the due diligence requirements of the EUTR, which oblige companies placing timber on the EU market to identify and mitigate any risks of illegality within their supply chains.