Indonesia and EU launch first FLEGT licensing scheme for legal timber


Rome, Italy - FAO today welcomed the launch of the world’s first ever Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) licensing scheme as Indonesia exported its first shipment of FLEGT-licensed timber to the European Union (EU).
The scheme by Indonesia and the EU marks a major step forward in global efforts to stamp out illegal logging and promote the legal timber trade.
The FLEGT licence opens up a ‘green lane’ for timber being imported to the EU, one of the world's largest consumers of timber products. Under the EU Timber Regulation, European companies are prohibited from placing illegal timber and timber products on the EU market.
Indonesia’s FLEGT-licensing scheme is based on the country’s Sistem Verifikasi Legalitas Kayu (SVLK), or timber legality assurance system, which ensures that timber has been harvested, transported, processed and traded according to Indonesian law.
Under the scheme, all wood-based product types listed in a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) between Indonesia and the EU and directly exported to European markets must now be accompanied by a FLEGT licence issued by an Indonesian licensing authority. In turn, importers can place it on the market with no additional checks.
“We congratulate Indonesia on becoming the first country in the world to issue FLEGT licences and hope this will motivate other countries engaged in a VPA process and working towards their own licensing,” said Robert Simpson of the FAO FLEGT Programme, which supports tropical timber-producing countries engaged in FLEGT initiatives.
A formal celebration of the shipment of FLEGT-licensed timber is set to take place in Jakarta on 24 November 2016.
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Photo: Flickr/EU REDD and FLEGT Facilities