RSK have sent more information regarding policy changes in 2012, make sure you keep checking recipro for any new updates.
The Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Regulations (FLEGT) 2012 SI 178 have come into force with the aim of tackling illegal timber trade across the EU. All timber crossing the border in to the UK from a country which has signed the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) will need a FLEGT license, which will be checked at point of entry by the UK Border Agency. A charge may be imposed for licenses from 2014. Penalties for incorrect/absent documentation will be £5,000 and/or 3 years in prison, and will be imposed upon the importer. If importing timber directly, be aware that if timber is procured from a VPA country, FLEGT documentation will be required. If this cannot be supplied the importer will be liable for penalties.
The Water Act 2003 (Commencement No. 11) Order 2012 (SI 2012/264) has come in to force.
This amends Section 78A in Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 relating to the definition of contaminated land in regards to polluting close to controlled waters. To count as contaminated land it must potentially cause significant pollution, rather than any pollution, as was the case previously.
Consultation closes on 27 April 2012. Proposed changes cover:
1. Technical aspects
2. Energy efficiency (part L) – relating to new build and extensions/work on existing buildings. CO2 targets for new buildings will be tightened
3. Electrical safety (part P)
4. Changes to building control system
Improvements for Part L are encouraged to be reached through improvements to building fabric and provision of renewable energy and by raising required level for domestic windows from C to B.
The Forestry Commission Wales, Countryside Council for Wales and Environment Agency Wales are proposing to become a single environmental body. This consultation is seeking opinons on how this will be implemented in practice, including main functions and powers. Response is required by 2nd May 2012. Responsibilities and governance regarding Welsh environmental legal issues are likely to change. Further information is available from the Welsh Government website