Get to grips with FLEGT (October 2016)

News Highlights

National Consultation Workshop on VPA/FLEGT
The negotiation process for Voluntary Partnership Agreement VPA/FLEGT between the EU and Vietnam is expected to be concluded on 18th November 2016 and signed by the end of this year. After the signing, Vietnam commits to develop the Timber Legality Assurance System (VNTLAS) and will issue FLEGT licenses to shipments of timber and timber products to the EU. With the license, the importer does not have to conduct due diligence for legal origin of each shipment according to the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR).

With deeper integration, timber industry is facing risk on legality of materials.
When the regulations become more stringent due to deep integration, the timber industry will face a lot of risks, especially the risks on legality of timber materials. Mr. To Xuan Phuc (Forest Trends) said the common requirement of the US, the EU and Australia on legal origin of timber is that the materials have to be harvested, processed and transported in compliance with the local laws (where the activities are carried out). According to this requirement, some parts of timber products for export in Vietnam are having high risk of incompliance with related laws.

Decrease in import of valuable timber in Vietnam
( – According to the statistics from the Customs Department, the volume of valuable timber imported from the Greater Mekong Subregion to Vietnam is decreasing. This is a good sign, showing positive changes in timber industry in meeting the requirements on timber legality in export markets, especially the US and the EU. 

Timber export reaches the target 5 years in advance, but is still longing for support–duoc–ho-tro-d52561.html
At the workshop “Vietnam Integration Challenge: Policy options for processed wood export and retail sector” in Hanoi, experts stated the fact that although there have been many measures in to support the domestic economy, some export sectors has yet to receive timely assistance. Ms Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, Director of WTO and Integration Center (VCCI) said that export sectors, especially the timber processing industry, are in need of policy support to be compliance with the trade conditions in the new FTAs that Vietnam is engaging in.

Illegal Myanmar teak importation widespread to EU, investigation finds
In a two-month undercover investigation, the campaigning NGO Environmental Investigations Agency (EIA) found that nine companies in five EU countries had failed to meet the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) for legal importation of Burmese teak from Myanmar. 

CITES Conference Marks Major Breakthrough in Battle Against Endangered Rosewood Trade
The Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) decided to place all 300 species of rosewood under trade restrictions, meaning criminals can no longer pass off illegally logged species as legitimate. This new control on rosewood could fill the gap that allows illegal trade of endangered timber species to flourish.



October 2016: Report “Importation of timber materials in Vietnam in 2013 – 2016: analysis from imported species”. Access at:

 October 2016: Report “Timber trade between Vietnam and the US in 2013 – 2016: overview”. Access at:

October 2016: Report “Timber trade between Vietnam and Japan in 2013 – 2016: overview”. Access at:

 October 2016: Report “Timber trade between Vietnam and South Korea: Current situation and trend”. Access at:

 October 2016: The ITTO Tropical Timber Market (TTM) Report, an output of the ITTO Market Information Service (MIS) – no. 16 and 17. Download at:

 October 2016: EU Forest Watch by FERN – no. 218 and 219. Access at:



 30th November 2016: The Project “Increasing Capacity of Civil Society Organisations and SMEs to Implement FLEGT Requirements”, funded by EU and implemented by NEPCon and SFMI, will organise the Closing Workshop in Ho Chi Minh City. The workshop aims to share the results and lessons learnt from project implementation, as well as provide CSOs and SMEs with our toolkit, online training platform, and an overview to legality risk assessment in order to be ready for requirements of FLEGT.