A truck carries away timber in the upper Baram region of Malaysia's eastern Sarawak state on July 22, 2010. The European Union is cracking down on the timber trade in an effort to curb illegal logging, blamed for a host of ills from social upheaval to environmental and economic damage.

The European Union is cracking down on the timber trade in an effort to curb illegal logging, blamed for a host of ills from social upheaval to environmental and economic damage.

The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, said Friday that new rules effective from Sunday would affect everyone in the trade by barring illegally harvested timber from its huge internal market of some 500 million people.

"Illegal logging has severe economic, environmental and social impacts: it is associated with deforestation and climate change, it can undermine the efforts and livelihoods of legitimate operators, and it can also contribute to conflicts over land and resources," it said in a statement.

The new regime covers both imported and domestically produced timber and timber products—from paper and pulp to solid wood and flooring.

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