Get to grips with FLEGT (December 2015)

New legal documents

7 December 2015: General Department of Vietnam Customs has sent an official document requesting the Department of Customs of the following provinces: An Giang, Kien Giang, Binh Phuoc, Long An, Dong Thap, Dong Thap, Gia Lai – Kon Tum, Tay Ninh to improve their management in order to prevent illegal timber crossing the Cambodia – Vietnam border.


News Highlights

Only 2% of Vietnam’s forest has sustainable forest certification
(VOV) – Although sustainable forest management and forest certification are not new to Vietnam, the certified area is still limited and there is limited choice of forest certification schemes available in the country. 170 000 ha of forest area has been certified so far, accounting for only 2% of production forest. Meanwhile, the Government has set a target of 30% production forest certified by 2020.

Natural resource tax should remain unchanged to help prevent deforestation
(Lao dong Thu do) – The Standing Committee of the National Assembly has agreed the resolution on amendments and supplements to the Resolution No. 712/2013/UBTVQH13 of issuing the natural resource tax rate. Particularly on the natural forest timber group, the Government proposed reducing tax rate from 35% to 30% for group I, 30% to 25% for group II, 20% to 18% for group III and IV, and from 15% to 12% for group V, VI, VII, VIII and other types of wood. The majority of the meeting participants disagreed with this proposal and suggested keeping the tax rate unchanged because wood groups I and II are precious natural timber and are only available in natural forest.

Timber export to EU market: Challenges on the legality of timber material
(Bao Hai quan) – Vietnam is currently earning 700-800 mil USD annually from timber and timber product exports to the EU market. Meanwhile the demand for such products in the EU market reaches 85 billion USD/year. The potential in this market therefore is still huge for Vietnamese enterprises. The export value is expected to increase to around 1 billion USD/year in the coming time. The timber material originating from imported sources and domestic plantation can basically meet the requirements on timber legality as set by the EU market. However, impending risks still exist. These include lacking of land use certificate or conflict over land use which is considered as legal evidence of the company or household’s ownership regarding plantation.



5-8 January 2015 and 19-22 January 2015: Training for trainers on increasing capacity for small and medium enterprises to implement FLEGT requirements, by NEPCon and SFMI, in Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang. For more information, contact

4 December 2015 – 29 February 2016: 1st public consultation on first draft of the National Forest Stewardship Standard for Vietnam. For more information, contact



December 2015: Statistical Yearbook of Forest Products (2014) by FAO. The document can be downloaded at



16 December 2015: Dialogue on illegal logging reported by the media with focus on status, causes and solutions, organised by Forest Trends and PanNature in Hanoi. For more information, visit

19 December 2015: Conference on the establishment of Forest Owner Association, sustainability and scaling up of community forestry boards, organised by Vietnam Administration of Forestry, Mobilisation Committee for the Establishment of Forest Owner Association, PanNature, RECOFTC and WWF, organised in Da Nang.

18-22 January 2016: 11th Joint Expert Meeting and 5th Technical Working Group on FLEGT in Hanoi