Supporting Legal Timber Trade in Vietnam (June 2017)

News Highlights


The EU demands timber traded in Vietnam to be legal
(TBKTSG Online) – To export wood products to the European Union (EU) market, Vietnam must ensure that timber products processed and traded within the country are legal. According to the requirements of VPA/FLEGT, Vietnam will not only ensure that timber harvesting locally is legal, but also has to commit itself to developing legal procedures and regulations to prevent timber harvested illegally abroad from entering the Vietnamese supply chain.


Vietnam pledges to investigate massive illegal logging violations as international pressure grows
( – Following a major undercover investigation by an environmental watchdog organisation into illegal logging practices in Cambodia and Vietnam, the Vietnamese government says it plans to investigate.


The need to have new forestry laws 
(Daibieunhandan) – Currently, the Law on Forest Protection and Development, which was first issued in 1991, has revealed some limitations, which make it no longer relevant to the present development situation. Therefore, this should be revised to become a new Forestry Law with the scope covering the whole forest value chain including forest management, protection and use, timber processing, trading and services, to bring out the full potential for sustainable forest development, effective forest management and international integration.


Solve the problem for timber exporting enterprises
Early June, some enterprises in Ha Tinh Province reported that they had legally imported a large amount of high value timbers (Techicai Sitan, Rose wood, …) from Laos for export. However, according to Circular No. 04/2017/ T-BNNPTNT dated 24/2/2017 of MARD (promulgated the list of wild animal and plant species regulated according to appendices of CITES), these logs, which were imported a long time ago, are required to have CITES permits to be exported, making it difficult for businesses. In this regard, Vietnam Administration of Forestry had an official reply.


Dutch court ruling helps curb illegal timber trade  
(Forest Trends) – An administrative court in the Netherlands last week ruled on an EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) case involving the import of timber from Cameroon. This is the first time a European court has explicitly ruled that Operators in the EU must not only undertake meaningful Due Diligence but must also be able to supply documentary proof of compliance with the EUTR on request. The court concluded that it is not sufficient for Operators to rely solely on government paperwork as evidence of meaningful Due Diligence when importing from countries with significant risk of corruption and documented illegal logging.



New Documents


June 2017: Full text of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement between Vietnam and the EU (Vietnamese translation) – Download at:





Quarter 4/2017:  A series of free training workshops at 12 countries in the EU on new risk assessments and tools for EU Timber Regulation due diligence. For more information:





June 2017: Briefing “A chance for change: A civil society briefing on the Voluntary Partnership Agreement negotiations between Vietnam and the European Union” (FERN). Download at:


June 2017: Report: “Sustainable development of the Vietnamese timber industry: Eliminate high risk imported timber from the supply chain”. Download at:


June 2017: Publication “Protecting the rights of households and communities to natural forests” – PanNature. Access at: 


June 2017: Briefing Note for the Competent Authorities implementing the EU Timber Regulation – April 2017 – May 2017 (UNEP-WCMC). Access at:


June 2017:  EU Forest Watch 226 (June 2017) by FERN. Download at:


June 2017: Forest Watch VPA Update June 2017: The future of FLEGT, what will the EU prioritise? – published by LoggingOff and FERN. Access at:


June 2017: EUTR News – March to May 2017 (ClientEarth). Download at:


June 2017:  Go Viet Magazine – no. 90. Download at:





27th May 2017: Workshop on “The role and participation of Civil Social Organisations in VPA / FLEGT: negotiation process and the next plan”, jointly organised by Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations, Department of Science, Technology and Environment of the National Assembly, and the VNGOs-FLEGT Network. For more information:


21st – 22nd June 2017: 27th Illegal Logging Update and Stakeholder Consultation Meeting at Chatham House. The meeting brought together more than 250 participants from civil society, industry and governments from around the world and provided an update on global efforts to improve forest governance and reduce illegal logging. Download presentations, including those given by representatives from Vietnam, at:

The presentations on Vietnam include the following:

  • Nguyen Tuong Van, Forestry Administration of Vietnam – Vietnam’s VPA key commitments and implementation framework
  • Vu Thi Bich Hop, Centre for Sustainable Rural Development – Vietnamese CSO network and its roles in VPA/FLEGT
  • Tran Le Huy, Forest Products Association of Binh Dinh – The private sector’s efforts in fighting illegal logging in Vietnam
  • Nguyen Vinh Quang, Forest Trends – Legality issues in Vietnamese plantations