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New EU legislation to prevent trading in
illegal timber on the EU market
SARAWAK INDUSTRY UPDATE
Kuching, 20 July 2009
Vincent van den Berk
European Commission Delegation to Malaysia
(Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade, FLEGT)
1
context new EU legislation

FLEGT Action Plan (adopted in 2003)

Aimed at addressing illegal logging and related
trade

Combining supply and demand measures;
creating market incentives for trade in
guaranteed legal timber; using and expanding
existing mechanisms and adding new ones.
2
EU FLEGT Action Plan
Frames EC tropical forest work – coordinates supply and
demand side measures for timber:
–
–
Voluntary Partnership Agreements supported by
EU legislation to exclude illegal timber from the EU
market
-----------------------------------------------------------------------–
Development cooperation
–
Generating demand through public procurement policies
–
Promoting certification and labelling
–
Support private sector initiatives
–
CITES/UNFF/ITTO
3
VPA’s agreements

Increase trade in guaranteed legal timber
between FLEGT countries and the EU

Set up control and licensing systems to provide
a Government-backed guarantee of legality

Provide financial, technical and institutional
support to improve forest governance

Generate demand on the EU market/create
market incentives (Due Diligence Regulation &
public procurement & promotion)
4
The VPA components
1. Definition of legality – the standard (stakeholder engagement)
2. Verification – checks that FMU operations meet the standard
3. Chain of custody – tracking products from FMU to export
4. Licensing – official evidence that each export shipment is legal
5. Independent monitoring – to maintain system credibility
6. Market monitoring – effects of FLEGT on the EU market
7. Management structure
Different partner countries => different approaches: TLAS can be
met in many ways as long as assurance of legality is given
– building on systems existing in partner countries, providing
acceptable uniformity between systems, enabling consistent
evaluation of different systems
– based on Principles & Criteria
5
Pressure for additional
measures
& EU market incentives
considerations during policy formulation:

•
To prohibit the sale of illegally harvested timber.
•
Obligatory legality certification by traders.
•
“Due diligence” by traders selling timber in EU.
Preferred option: Due diligence for being the most
effective while the least cost-intensive
6
Due Diligence system (DDR)

Obligation on operators: Use a due diligence system
which will sufficiently guarantee legality;

Elements of the due diligence system:

•
Product information: description, country of harvest, volume or
weight, supplier & legal compliance
•
Risk management: high risk = stricter controls
•
Auditing of the effectiveness of the system
Operators can either set up their own systems or make use
of the system of a monitoring organisation
7
What is considered legal in DDR?
DDR likely requires traders to minimize the risk
that they trade in illegal timber;
If challenged traders should provide information
demonstrating compliance with ‘applicable
legislation’ in timber producing countries
‘applicable legislation’ defined in line with the
FLEGT definition
8
Legal as in FLEGT:
Use rights: Harvesting timber within legally gazetted boundaries by
the legal holder of rights to harvest.
Forest operations: Compliance with laws regarding forest
management including relevant environmental and labour
legislation.
Fees and taxes: Compliance with laws concerning taxes,
importation, royalties and fees directly related to timber harvesting
and harvest rights.
Other users: Respect for other parties’ legal tenure or use rights to
land and other resources that may be affected by timber harvest
rights, where such other rights exist.
Trade and customs: Compliance with legal requirements for trade
and customs procedures.
9
Basic premises I

Objective: to minimise the risk of illegally harvested
timber being sold on the EU market by requiring ‘due
diligence’ from ‘operators’.

‘Operator’: any legal or natural person supplying the EU
market with timber products

‘Due diligence’ a set of procedures aimed at avoiding
trading in illegally harvested timber
10
Basic premises II

Product scope: all timber and timber products, be it
imported or domestically produced

Point of control: first placing on the EU market

•
Importers for imported products
•
Primary producers for domestically produced timber
Legality: defined on the basis of the legislation of the
country of harvest
•
Presumption of legality: FLEGT/CITES timber
11
Implementation process





Entry into force when adopted by the European
Parliament and the Council of EU Ministers.
European Parliament concluded in April ’09
Under Swedish Presidency, Council of Ministers called
4 mtgs in ’09, concluded in Dec ’09
“trialogue” concluded in June 2010; legislation adopted.
Implementation through complementary legislative
process concluded in spring 2012; legislation
operational and ready to bite.
12
Conclusions
The EU FLEGT policy
 combats illegal logging and related trade by a range of supply and
demand-side measures, incentives and disincentives and technical
and financial support.
 Supports improved forest governance by furthering broad
consultations, increased transparency and independent oversight in
the forest sector of partner countries; and
 in doing so contributes to sustainable forest management and
sustainable development.
 VPA’s and DDR supports the objective that all timber on the
European market comes from low risk sources or be verified legal.
13
Thank you!
More FLEGT info on:
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/forests/
illegal_logging.htm
14