West Midlands-based importer Heartlands Furniture (Wholesale) Ltd pled guilty to two criminal offenses under the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) on September 20th 2019 at Birmingham magistrates court, reports sustainable forestry champion Forest Trends.

Heartlands was subsequently issued with two fines of £4000, and ordered to pay full costs of £5177.86 and a victim surcharge of £170 for the two offences.

According to Forest Trends, Heartlands' offences reflected non-compliance with a Notice of Remedial Action issued by the UK Competent Authority (the Government agency responsible for enforcing the EUTR in the UK), which had set out the necessary improvements for two product lines in order for Heartlands to be EUTR-compliant; and failure to exercise due diligence when placing these products (a Brazilian pine Corona bed frame from Brazil, and an American oak Stirling glass-fronted cabinet from Vietnam) on the EU market in October and November 2017.

The UK Competent Authority used the due diligence requirements of the EUTR to prosecute, as Heartlands Furniture had failed to establish the necessary systems to ascertain whether the timber used in the two lines was legal.

Heartlands has been ordered to pay a total of £13,347.86 by January 18th this year.