Both Princess Yachts and Sunseeker have provided clarity on a statement circulated by The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), a UK-based organisation that investigates and campaigns against environmental crime and abuses. The statement had suggested that Sunseeker and Princess Yachts were among a number of companies that have been unwittingly supplied with illegally sourced Burmese teak from Myanmar on board their vessels. The EIA alleges that a number of suppliers have been found to be in breach of the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR). It should be noted however, that the EUTR only regulates the act of ‘first placement,’ so there is no implication that Sunseeker and Princess Yachts are guilty of, and they have in no way been accused of, breaching the EUTR.
However, both companies have now had the opportunity to issue clarification on the matter. “Sunseeker International has been aware of a press statement issued the charity EIA which suggests Sunseeker is using teak in its boat production which is known to be in breach of the EUTR,” reads the Sunseeker press statement. “Sunseeker International is not aware of any breach of the EUTR nor is it regulated by them. Sunseeker has not received a notice from any recognised enforcement authority of a breach of the EUTR within the company’s direct or indirect supply chain, relating to the procurement of teak of any other products. Sunseeker is a socially responsible manufacturer and committed to ethical business practice. We regularly undertake supply audits of our teak supply chain to ensure it is responsibly sourced and would never knowingly use teak which is not”. Sunseeker further explains that it will be investigating the procurement of its teak through the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy in due course to obtain the facts.
Princess Yachts explains that, “We are extremely careful in sourcing raw materials for our products and take all reasonable steps to ensure that these are provided to us by reputable licensed suppliers, in accordance with all relevant international laws, including those of the United Kingdom and the European Union. To that end, we only purchase materials from those specific companies who have been approved and are committed to, and comply with, the relevant and applicable regulations. In light of the claims by the Environmental Investigation Agency, we are working with British Marine to gain further understanding of the alleged supply chain issues that have been highlighted, as these were entirely unknown to us at the time of publication and have not been independently confirmed as accurate.”