Supporting Legal Timber Trade in Vietnam (February 2018)

News Highlights

Vietnam International Furniture & Home Accessories Fair 2018
Vietnam International Furniture & Home Accessories Fair (VIFA – EXPO 2018) was held from March 7th to March 10th at the Saigon Exhibition & Convention Center (SECC) with nearly 2,000 booths on a total area of 30,000 m2, which is 29% bigger than 2017. In addition, visitors from 80 countries and territories registered. HAWA’s manager predicts that this year, Vietnam’s timber and NTFP exports will reach 9 billion USD. Particularly, the export of wood and wood products could reach 8.66 billion USD.

The target of 9 billion USD in 2018
(QĐND) – In 2017, the export of timber and forest products reached 8 billion USD for the first time. In 2018, the goal for wood and forest products export is 9 billion USD. This is an interview with the General Directorate of Vietnam Administration of Forestry (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development) about the development direction of forestry sector in 2018 and the following years.

UK operator fined for failing to exercise due diligence when importing timber
British timber operator Hardwood Dimensions (Holdings) Ltd has been fined £4,000 for breaching regulations prohibiting the importing and sale of illegally harvested timber. Hardwood Dimensions failed to check the legality of a batch of timber from Cameroon when placing it on the market, breaching regulations requiring businesses trading in timber and timber products in the UK to ensure that their products originate from legal sources.

Where does your timber come from? Genetic analysis may soon tell you
( Researchers have identified a genetic analysis technique that pinpoints the harvest location of trees—a breakthrough that could help officials detect illegally traded timber. The multi-national research team tested the potential of two kinds of genetic analysis to differentiate the geographic origin of timber samples at the scale of individual forest concessions.

RA-Cert and NEPCon Announce Intent to Join
After two decades of close partnership, NEPCon and RA-Cert (the certification division of the Rainforest Alliance), the world’s two leading non-profit certification bodies, have announced their intention to join later this year. The transaction is subject to agreement on final terms, which the parties expect to finalise later this year. The combined organisation, which will operate under the name of NEPCon, will continue to offer services that both NEPCon and RA-Cert have been delivering in forestry, agriculture, responsible sourcing, biomass, carbon footprinting, and tourism.





April 2018: Have your say! The NEPCon Sourcing Hub has now been live for six months. In that time, more than 25,000 users have accessed the site! We want to hear from you about what you like about the Sourcing Hub, what you think we can do differently, and how we can better meet your needs to make responsible sourcing decisions. The survey is short – we don’t expect it to take any more than 10 minutes to give us your feedback and we will keep all your answers confidential. Access the survey here:




January 2018: Information about Legality Assurance System of Vietnam (VNTLAS). Watch the video at: 

January 2018: Information about Legal Definitions (LD) – an integral part of the VNTLAS. Watch the video at:

February 2018: Summary report of “Feasibility analysis of the incorporation of timber legality requirements” into Chinese laws or regulations to promote trade in legal forest products. Information at:

February 2018: “A Tale of Two Laws” – A report demonstrating how European Union and US legislation can be used together to better combat illegal timber trade. Download at:  

February 2018: Briefing note on the implementation of the EU Timber Regulations, November 2017 – January 2018 (UNEP-WCMC). Download at:

March 2018: NEPCon’s ‘Sourcing Legal Timber 2.0’ Conference was held in the UK on 15th March 2018, show casing guest speakers from all sectors. Recordings of the sessions are available to view and presentation slides available to download at:




5th January 2018: The Center for People and Forests coordinated with the Forest Production Development Department – Vietnam Administration of Forestry to organise a stakeholder consultation workshop on Sustainable Forest Management Policy Review in Vietnam. For more information: