Supporting Legal Timber Trade in Vietnam (July 2017)

News Highlights

EU and Thailand hold first talks on forest governance and legal timber trade deal
( – Thailand and the European Union (EU) have held their first negotiations towards a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) to improve forest governance and promote trade in verified legal timber products. The negotiations took place in Bangkok on 29 and 30 June 2017 and focused on technical issues — including the draft VPA product scope and legality definition, as well as Thailand’s initial ideas on supply chain controls and mechanisms for verifying the legality of timber and timber products.

One year of natural forest closure: The forests are still devastated
( – It has been one year since the Prime Minister officially declared “the closure of natural forest” in the Central Highlands as well as nationwide. However, law infringements in forest protection are still happening and become complicated. In many places, the forests are still destroyed.

CITES requirements – challenges for timber exporters?
( –  Regarding Circular 04/2017 of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on the promulgation of the list of wild fauna and flora species regulated in the annexes of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), according to Pham Hong Thai- Director of Quang Binh’s Forest Protection Department, this document only regulates the list of wild fauna and flora species specified in the Appendices of CITES. So, although this is a new legal requirement in Vietnam, it is actually international law that we must follow.

Watershed forests cleared for plantations 
( – Plantations are considered a stable source of raw materials for the domestic furniture industry, so that we do not have to rely on the import of wood materials. However, clearing of allocated forest land to plant acacia is an alarming situation in Son Kim 1, Son Kim 2 Commune, Huong Son District (Ha Tinh).

Helping Indonesian craftsmen go global, sustainably
(CIFOR) – Mechanisms to ensure wood is legally sourced are essential to conserve forests, and can also help small businesses expand exports, thereby increasing incomes. In this article, CIFOR scientist Herry Purnomo discusses the importance of this pioneering certification system for small industry, livelihoods and forests in Indonesia.




June 2017: Report “Assessment of the initial status of compliance with legal timber definition at household level in Viet Nam” by VNGO-FLEGT Network. See at:

June 2017:  Report “Assessment of household’s compliance with regulations in harvesting, trading, transporting and processing plantation timber in Thanh Son District, Phu Tho Province” by VNGO-FLEGT Network. See at:

June 2017: Paper on “Timber-Sourcing from Fragile and Conflict-Affected States” – Forest Trends. Download at:

July 2017: Leaflet “EUTR supplier relation leaflet” – NEPCon. Download at:

July 2017: Bulletin EU Forest Watch 227 – FERN. See at:




13th June 2017: To assist Vietnam’s wood and handicraft enterprises in reaching and boosting their exports to the EU market, updating the trends and regulations, purchasing practices of European importers, the Representative Office of Trade Promotion Department in HCMC in collaboration with the HCMC Handicraft and Wood Industry Association organised the conference “Promote the export of wood and handicraft products to the EU market”, within the framework of the EU-MUTRAP. For more information: