EU holds its ground on legality standards for Indonesian timber

15 March 2016

EU holds its ground on legality standards for Indonesian timber

Indonesia still hopes to become the first country in the world to export timber to the EU under a FLEGT (Forest, Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade) licence, demonstrating that its timber is legal.

Indonesia’s government had planned to announce the first licences during the Paris climate summit last December, but was forced to slam on the brakes, following a move from the Ministry of Trade to exempt a number of product types, including furniture, from the legality verification requirements.

Since then, there have been internal disputes between the Trade Ministry and the Environment Ministry (FW VPA update).

This month the EU reportedly upheld the integrity of the FLEGT initiative, confirming again that it will not accept FLEGT-licenced exports from Indonesia until the Trade Minister’s regulation is annulled. The government has agreed in principle but not yet carried out the change.

Indonesia’s chief negotiator for FLEGT-licenced timber, Agus Sarsito, told a planning committee in late January: “There’s only one small step left to make, but we missed it. This has put us at risk of not becoming the [global] champion of timber legality certification.”

Image: EU FLEGT facility

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