Jewson & International Timber: statement on the sale of timber decking made from Ipe (Brazilian Walnut)

Jewson, and associated brand International Timber, have issued the following joint statement refuting recent allegations of selling illegal Brazilian Timber:

"In common with many UK builders and timber merchants, a number of Jewson branches offer timber decking manufactured from Ipe, a species of timber from Brazil also known as Brazilian Walnut.

Ipe is a popular choice with UK specifiers for decking, as it is does not require any weatherproofing or pesticidal treatment to withstand external weather conditions. This has led to architects and other specifiers choosing the timber for many prestigious projects worldwide including the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, the National Library in Paris and even the Presidential Palace in Brazil itself.

Jewson sources all tropical hardwood species through International Timber, an associated brand with expertise in timber importing and distribution. As such, International Timber has expertise and professionals committed to sourcing timber legally and responsibly and ensuring full and absolute compliance with the legal requirements.

Ipe currently stocked by Jewson, and purchased during 2013 and 2014, is sourced from two companies, Robinson Lumber, based in New Orleans USA, who have been dealing in lumber since 1983 and Vogel Import Export based in Antwerp, who specialise in the import of South American timbers..

International Timber demands that these suppliers provide the necessary documentation to ensure the legality and traceability of the timber.  This includes the names of the original exporters in Brazil, in this case Solimad Madeiras and Condor Florestas Industrial Madeiras Ltda, who have to obtain the export licence (DOF-GF3) from IBAMA, the Brazilian environmental ministry.

In addition the supplier is also expected to provide details of the specific concession and region in Brazil for each shipment. This level of detailed information ensures that International Timber and Jewson comply with UK and EU legislation for the import of timber, the Timber and Timber Products (Placing on the Market) Regulations 2013.

The Regulations are the UK's implementation of the EU Timber Regulation (EU NO 995/2010, known as the EUTR) which came into force on 3 March 2013.

The EUTR counters the trade in illegally harvested timber and timber products by imposing three key obligations. First, placing illegally harvested timber and products derived from such timber on the EU market for the first time, is prohibited. Second, EU operators - those who place timber products on the EU market for the first time - are required to exercise 'due diligence'. Third, traders - those who buy or sell timber and timber products already on the market - are required to keep information about their suppliers and customers to make timber easily traceable.

Both Jewson and International Timber primarily act as 'traders' in this context and keep detailed records about the sources of all timber purchased,

As well as complying with EUTR and the new UK regulation, Jewson and International Timber also complies with the UK Government's Timber Procurement Policy, which additionally requires that only timber and wood-derived products originating from an independently verifiable Legal and Sustainable source will be purchased for use on the government estate.

Jewson and International Timber are fully aware of their duties and responsibilities in ensuring the timber they purchase derives from legal and sustainable sources, with traceability and supporting documentation throughout the supply chain - this is of paramount importance.

Jewson and International Timber are fully committed to engaging in open dialogue with organisations and individuals about this important issue and will continue to take an honest and collaborative approach to open dialogue."

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