Supporting Legal Timber Trade in Vietnam (May 2017)

News Highlights

Vietnam and EU complete VPA negotiations on forest governance–quan-tri-rung-va-thuong-mai-lam-san-(flegt).aspx–EU-hoan-tat-dam-phan-chong-khai-thac-go-trai-phep-33819.html
On 11th May 2017, in Brussels (Belgium), Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Ha Cong Tuan and Astrid Schomaker, Director for Global Sustainable Development at the European Commission’s Directorate General for the Environment, initialled the content on a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT). Both parties to later sign and ratify the agreement, after which the VPA will become legally binding.

Classification of timber enterprises
(TBKTSG Online) – Vietnam will classify enterprises operating in the fields of planting, harvesting, importing, processing and exporting wood into two groups, to comply with the requirements of Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT). The aim of the classification is to assess the risk of all enterprises in complying with legal requirements under Vietnam’s Timber Legality Assurance System (VNTLAS).

Sharp drop in US furniture imports from China and Vietnam
(ITTO) – According to data from the US Department of Commerce, the value of wooden furniture imports declined in February 2017 compared to the same period last year (2016), mainly in imports
from the US’ two largest suppliers China (-22%) and Vietnam (-19%).

Protection forests destroyed in Phu Yen province
At the end of April, early May 2017, a series of newspapers reported that more than 100 hectares of protection forest in Phu Yen was destroyed to make way for a golf course, hotel and resort without approval from the Prime Minister for the transfer land use purpose according to regulations. Not only that, Phu Yen has cleared over 1.000ha of forests for 20 other investment projects. Most deforestation happens in cattle farming, hydropower, horse racing and refinery projects.

Lots of purchase orders for the timber industry
(TTO) – After a difficult year with few orders, in the beginning months of 2017, the situation has improved for the Vietnamese timber processing industry. Good integration with many competitive advantages is bringing many orders for timber enterprises.

New Documents

March 2017: Decision to promulgate the HS codes for goods being endangered and rare wild animals and plants (Decision No. 924/QD-BNN-TCLN dated 24/3/2017) – For more information:

May 2017: Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development announces the State of Forest nationwide in 2016 (Document No. 1819/QĐ-BNN-TCLN dated 16/5/2017) – For more information:


27th June 2017: Illegal Logging Update and Stakeholder Consultation Meeting Number 27 organised by Chatham House – the United Kingdom.– See more at:


May 2017: Report “Repeat Offender: Vietnam’s persistent trade in illegal timber” of Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). Download at:

May 2017: Go Viet Magazine – no. 89. Download at:


24th May 2017: The Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of Ho Chi Minh City (HAWA) organised a workshop to launch the first phase of the project “Due Diligence System on Timber Origin – HAWA DDS” funded by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). The project will help the participating organisations, including forest owners, households, timber processing companies, wood traders and wood processing enterprises, to conduct the due diligence on legal timber easily and effectively. For more information:

26th May 2017:  Four Associations in the timber industry, including VIFORES, HAWA, FPA Binh Dinh and BIFA of Binh Duong Province jointly organised a workshop with Forest Trends: “Vietnam Timber industry say NO to illegal timber”, to develop the image of the Vietnamese timber industry within the international community. At the workshop, the four Associations jointly signed and issued a joint statement on the use, production and trading of legal timber and timber products. For more information: