Illegal Logging Legislation in Australia

Local Knowledge, Global Capabilities

What is an Illegal Logging Declaration?

With 3DL Customs & Consulting, you can be confident your illegal logging declarations are compliant, and your wood-based goods cleared quickly and efficiently.

Are you a business owner, Freight Forwarder or Importer who imports wood, pulp, or paper products into Australia? With the increasingly strict laws and demand for corporate social and environmental responsibility, it's never been more important that your shipments are cleared of any illegal logging activity.

While previously it was thought that annual customs declarations were enough, as of late 2023, Australia's Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry requires consignment-specific illegal logging declarations and for a consignment to be linked to having conducted due diligence in accordance with the law

This means, as an importer, you are required to confirm that you have complied with the legislated due diligence requirements for each shipment of wood-based products into the country, and every element in them. With up to 10% of global wood trade believed to be illegal, that can be hard to do!

The illegal logging trade has links to organised crime, civil wars, wildlife extinction, and environmental destruction. Further, importing illegally logged timber into Australia is a criminal offence that can attract penalties of up to five years imprisonment for Directors or $555,000 for businesses. Given all legal obligations sit with the businesses importing the goods (not the exporter) - it's critical to have evidence that the timber in the product has been legally harvested.

But how can you confidently provide that?

That's where 3DL Customs & Consulting can assist, with partnered Due Diligence service for Freight Forwarders and Importers of timber and wood-based products into Australia.

As a 100% Australian, family owned and operated business, we've been providing our clients with successful border clearance solutions for over 15 years.

With an average of 28 years' industry experience for our customs consultants, and legal practitioners, we are equipped to help you meet your requirements for supply chain due diligence and corporate social responsibility. This means you can rest assured that your illegal logging declaration is compliant, and the goods you are importing are legally produced.

What Products are Covered by Australia's Illegal Logging Legislation?

You might be surprised by the extensive list of items affected by this legislation - from baking paper to tissues! It includes - but is not limited to:

  • Wood, including rough, sawn, chipped, shaped or veneer
  • Engineered wood
  • Furniture and parts (made of wood)
  • Paper
  • Pulp, or
  • Prefabricated buildings of woods

What is 'Due Diligence' and How Must I Provide It?

The Illegal Logging Prohibition Regulation 2012 legislation states you must take the following steps to manage the risk of importing illegally logged timber into Australia. This is referred to as 'due diligence.'

For every import including wood-based products, you must:

1. Establish a due diligence system - document the steps you will take to ensure you aren't dealing in illegal timber.

2. Gather relevant information and evidence - to help prove the origin and legality of the timber contained in the product you intend to import.

3. Assess the risk - determine whether there is a risk that the product has been illegally logged.

4. Mitigate the risk - take steps to reduce the possibility of importing illegally logged products.

5. Maintain written records - document the steps you have taken.

Failure to complete the above may result in consequences such as, fines and imprisonment and significant disruption to your business operations.

How Can 3DL Customs & Consulting Assist?

Prefer to leave the hard work to the experts? When you entrust 3DL Customs & Consulting, we have collaborated with a specialist law firm, to provide you with the highest quality and most up to date guidance on meeting your due diligence requirements, and to ensure you can feel confident that you remain legally compliant while maintaining a socially and environmentally responsible business.

We're up to date with the changing rules and regulations, and will work to keep your supply chain moving quickly and efficiently - so you can continue on with doing what you do best in our business.

The Illegal Logging Due Diligence services provided with the assistance of the legal professionals we partner with include:

  • Assessment of whether your imports are covered by the illegal logging legislation in Australia.
  • Development of an illegal logging due diligence system tailored to your business.
  • Creation and documenting a 'product risk assessment' for each import in scope of the legislation.
  • Expert advice and service as we manage the entire process to ensure you meet your legal obligations.

As Australia's first wholesale customs clearance service to have been awarded Australian Trusted Trader status, with our expertise, you can have full peace of mind when importing.

Timber Products Requiring a Due Diligence System and Product Risk Assessment

For the purposes of the Illegal Logging Prohibition Regulation 2012, timber products are those derived from wood which includes solid wood, reconstituted wood, wood fibre, pulp and paper products.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of products covered by the Regulations:

Wood, including rough, sawn, chipped, shaped or veneer engineered wood

  • including particle board, oriented strand board (osb) and similar board;
  • fibreboard, plywood, veneered panels and similar laminated wood;
  • densified wood, in blocks, plates, strips or profile shapes;
  • wooden frames for paintings, photographs, mirrors or similar objects;
  • casks, barrels, vats, tubs and other coopers' products;
  • builders' joinery and carpentry of wood, including cellular wood panels, assembled flooring panels, shingles and shakes

Furniture and parts (made of wood)

  • Seats with wooden frames upholstered and not upholstered
  • Office furniture and parts
  • Kitchen furniture and parts
  • Bedroom furniture and parts
  • Other furniture
  • Furniture parts


  • Newsprint, in rolls or sheets
  • Uncoated paper and paperboard, of a kind used for writing, printing or other graphic purposes, and non-perforated punch cards and punch tape paper, in rolls or rectangular (including square);
  • Hand made paper and paperboard
  • Toilet or facial tissues, towel or napkin stock and similar paper of a kind used for household or sanitary purposes, towels, tablecloths, serviettes, bed sheets, apparel and clothing accessories
  • Uncoated craft paper and paperboard, in rolls or sheets
  • Other uncoated paper and paperboard, in rolls or sheets, not further worked or processed
  • Vegetable parchment, greaseproof papers, tracing papers and glassine and other glazed transparent or translucent papers, in rolls or sheets:
  • Composite paper and paperboard, including corrugated
  • Kaolin (china clay) or other inorganic substances coated paper and paperboard
  • Decorated or printed paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding and webs of cellulose fibers
  • Cigarette paper in the form of booklets or tubes
  • Carbon paper, self copy paper and other copying or transfer papers, and duplicator stencils and offset plates of paper
  • Paper envelopes, letter cards, plain postcards and correspondence cards, boxes, pouches, wallets and writing compendiums
  • Boxes, cartons and packing containers
  • Office-type books, pads and binders, stationery, albums and forms
  • Labels of all kinds, whether or not printed


  • Mechanical wood pulp
  • Chemical wood pulp, dissolving grades
  • Chemical wood pulp, soda or sulphate, other than dissolving grades
  • Chemical wood pulp, sulphite, other than dissolving grades
  • Wood pulp obtained by a combination of mechanical and chemical pulping processes

Prefabricated buildings of wood

If you'd like some guidance with meeting your illegal logging declaration requirements, contact us on (07) 3268 1797 to learn more.

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