Supporting Legal Timber Trade in Vietnam (November 2017)

News Highlights

Forestry law gets approval from the National Assembly
On the morning of 15th November 2017, the National Assembly approved the Forest Law with nearly 88% of the votes. This new law comes into force on 1st January 2019 and is expected to overcome current limitations in forest protection as well as export of wooden products. The Forest Law will replace the Law on Forest Protection and Development no. 29/2004 / QH11, with new provisions in comparison with the current law, not only in forest management and protection but also in export activities.

High praise indeed: UK timber traders wish to maintain EUTR and FLEGT
(FERN) – In the uncertain process of Brexit, and despite some concerns of the UK timber traders and manufacturers about the EU Timber Regulation’s (EUTR) uneven enforcement across Member States and delays in implementation of FLEGT VPAs, the UK timber industry still wish the EUTR and FLEGT VPA initiative to be maintained.

Designer furniture retailer Lombok becomes first UK company to be fined under illegal logging laws
( – Another case of a fine under the EUTR, the first case in the UK: The retailer Lombok was prosecuted at Westminster Magistrates Court and fined £5,000 plus costs, for failing to exercise the required due diligence to ensure that items it had sourced from India were made out of wood from legal sources.



New Documents

15th November 2017: Circular No. 23/2017/TT-BNNPTNT dated 15/11/2017 of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on replanting forests when changing forest use purpose to other purposes. Download at:

28th November 2017: Circular No. 12/VBHN-BNNPTNT dated 28/11/2017 on the main harvest and utilisation of forest products (consolidated text of Circular No. 21/2016/TT-BNNPTNT and Circular No. 17/2017/TT-BNPTNT). Download at:




October 2017: Brief comparison of illegal logging laws in the EU, the US, Australia and Japan (ClientEarth). Download at:

November 2017: ForestWatch VPA Update November 2017: A year on from FLEGT licensing (LoggingOff and Fern). Download at:

November 2017: ManualIllegal Logging Best Practices Resource Guide” (APEC). Download at:

November 2017: Report “Forest Governance in Vietnam: a literature review” (FERN, CRD, FORLAND, SRD). Download at:

November 2017: Report “The Rosewood Racket” (EIA). Download at:

November 2017: Report “Buyers in Good Faith” (Global Witness). Download at:




24th November 2017: The Agro Processing and Market Development Authority (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development) cooperated with Ho Chi Minh City Handicraft and Wood Industry Association (HAWA) to organise the workshop “The US and EU markets’ regulations: Improve the enterprises’ capacity to response to market”. For more information:

24th November 2017: The Embassy of Finland in Vietnam and ActionAid Vietnam organised a workshop on plantations and the timber trade in Hanoi. Participants discussed the results of the ActionAid Vietnam survey on the status of forests and wood processing industry. The participants came up with solutions such as standard setting for wooden material, a coordination mechanism between wood enterprises and the raw material market, the development of supporting industries for forest product processing and the development and implementation of the Timber Legality Assurance System in Vietnam. More information at: 

30th November 2017: Indonesia and the EU held a conference to celebrate the first anniversary of the scheme licensing certified legal timber products that Indonesia exports to the EU. Indonesia has shipped verified legal timber and timber products worth more than 1 billion Euros to the EU since it began issuing such products with FLEGT licences one year ago. More information at: