Indonesia starts issuing FLEGT licenses
Today Indonesia begins issuing FLEGT licences that attest to the legality of the timber products it exports to the EU. The FLEGT licence automatically meets the requirements of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), which prohibits operators in the EU from placing illegally harvested timber and products derived from illegal timber on the EU market. Importers of FLEGT-licensed timber products can place their imports on the EU market without the need to conduct due diligence. The FLEGT licensing scheme is the first of its kind in the world. It is the result of a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) between Indonesia and the EU.
Indonesia’s SVLK (timber legality assurance system) assures that all timber products comply with national laws on environmental, social and economic aspects. “By addressing legality and meeting the EU’s high standards, we can not only trade responsibly but also ensure our forests support sustainable development, improve livelihoods and help address climate change,” said Putera Parthama, Director General of Sustainable Management of Production Forest at Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry. “Today, all of Indonesia’s timber exports are from independently audited factories and forests. Our timber legality assurance system and FLEGT licensing scheme will continue to improve thanks to in-built mechanisms for addressing concerns as they arise.”
“The EU congratulates Indonesia on the great progress it has made in bringing its forest sector under control and improving forest governance,” said Vincent Guérend, the EU Ambassador to Indonesia. “The FLEGT licensing scheme has come about through constructive dialogue among Indonesia’s government, private sector and civil society. Indonesia has shown true leadership and now sets a high standard for other countries to emulate. We look forward to receiving the first shipments of verified legal, FLEGT-licensed timber, which Indonesia exported today. We also congratulate Indonesia for applying its timber legality assurance system to exports to all markets, and not just to the EU.”
First APKINDO FLEGT-licensed shipments go to the UK, Belgium and Germany
The first FLEGT-licensed shipment organized by the Indonesia Wood Panel Association (APKINDO) consists of 23 containers, which will be delivered to clients in the UK, Belgium and Germany. With a total of 14 containers, the bulk will go to the UK (12 Tilbury, 2 Liverpool). Another 8 will arrive in Antwerp (Belgium) and one in Hamburg (Germany).
Indonesia and the European Union finalised the VPA on 15 September and agreed that Indonesia could issue FLEGT licenses from 15 November 2016 onwards. Indonesia supplies one third of tropical timber imports by value to the EU, one of the world’s largest consumers of timber products.
Added by: Sarah Storck