28. Contingencies

The Group has contingent liabilities in respect of legal claims arising in the ordinary course of business. It is not anticipated that any material payouts other than those for which a provision has been made will arise from contingent liabilities (see Note 13).

Assessment by Brazilian authorities

In 2002, a Brazilian subsidiary was assessed by IBAMA, the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources, in relation to certain log-transporting procedures, which had been in place and approved informally by government agencies for many years. In July 2010, an important administrative case was won against IBAMA. The fines imposed on the Group, which are not yet settled, amount to approximately EUR 5.5 million. The Group’s Management and its attorneys believe that the remaining fines are arbitrary in nature, unjustified, and will also be eventually cancelled, and therefore consider that no material payouts will occur as a result of the final decision on this process; consequently, no accrual was recorded in the Group’s consolidated financial statements as of 31 December 2019 (31 December 2018: 0). In 2011, the subsidiary was notified by the Federal Justice to offer assets to pledge or to prepay the penalty. The subsidiary offered 61 907 hectares to pledge. The counterparty has not accepted the pledge and has instead blocked an amount of EUR 0.1 million in cash on Group accounts.