Illegal logging is the harvesting, processing, transporting, buying or selling of timber in contravention of national and international laws.
It has a devastating impact on some of the world’s most valuable remaining forests, and on the people who live in them and rely on the resources that forests provide.
The EU Timber Regulation aims to reduce illegal logging by ensuring that no illegal timber or timber products can be sold in the EU. It was created as part of the EU’s FLEGT* Action Plan.
Since 2001, Indonesia has made great progress in its efforts to eliminate illegal logging, including developing and improving a national timber legality assurance system called SVLK*.
Indonesia and the EU have since negotiated a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) to promote trade in legal timber products and improve forest governance. The VPA process provided significant opportunities to improve the SVLK.
In 2014 the two parties ratified the agreement and began implementing the VPA commitments. In 2016, the EU and Indonesia confirmed that Indonesia had met the final requirements of the VPA, and Indonesia began issuing FLEGT licences on 15 November 2016.
Indonesia’s FLEGT licenced products are deemed to comply with requirements of the EU Timber Regulation. This means EU-based operators do not need to do further due diligence before placing FLEGT-licensed products on the market. Since 15 November 2016, products listed in the VPA’s revised annex I can no longer enter the EU unless they have a FLEGT licence.
Teak wood from plantations are included in the scope of the SVLK, and thus must be SVLK certified, and must have V-Legal Documents or FLEGT licences to be exported from Indonesia. Exports of FLEGT-licensed timber automatically meet the requirements of the EU Timber Regulation.
*SVLK (Sistem Verificasi Legalitas Kayu) is the acronym of Indonesia’s national timber legality assurance system, which is a mandatory legality and sustainability certification system built on a national multistakeholder consensus.
*FLEGT: FLEGT stands for Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade. The EU’s FLEGT Action Plan was established in 2003. It aims to reduce illegal logging by strengthening sustainable and legal forest management, improving governance and promoting trade in legally produced timber.
Examples of SVLK certifications at various workshops in Indonesia