SVLK timber may enter EU without inspection, ambassador

Selasa, 24 November 2015 | 07:20

The EU has stated that it is poised to fully implement a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on forest law enforcement, governance and trade (FLEGT) with Indonesia. The move would mean that all Indonesian SVLK timber products could enter the EU market without inspection.EU Ambassador to Indonesia Vincent Guerend promised that his party would fully implement the agreement on April 1, 2016. “Indonesia will be in the lead in the FLEGT negotiations,” Guerend said as quoted by on Monday.

The FLEGT implementation, he said, would benefit Indonesia, which currently has a 40-percent market share in the EU tropical timber market. However, he said that timber products must have the required V-legal documents attached, as regulated by Indonesia’s Timber Legality Verification System (SVLK).

As V-legal documents would be considered equal to a FLEGT license, Indonesian timber would automatically pass the due-diligence examination that is usually required before products enter the EU market.

Commenting on Indonesia’s plan to exempt furniture products from V-legal documentation as cited in Trade Ministerial Regulation No. 89/2015, Guerend said it would be the government’s job to ensure all products came complete with V-legal documents and were from sustainable sources.

The FLEGT agreement between Indonesia and the EU was signed on Sept. 30, 2013. Both parties have agreed to promote legal timber trade, with the EU to issue the EU Timber Regulation while Indonesia developed the SVLK, a multiparty system which guarantees that exported timber originates from legal sources.

Guerend highlighted that the SVLK was very helpful for EU timber importers and consumers in choosing timber that came from legal sources. According to the Timber Legality Information System (SILK), the EU absorbed Indonesian timber worth US$645.5 million in 2015, from a total of Indonesian timber exports worth $6.6 billion. (ags)

by Anton Hermansyah,