The centre of knowledge for the furniture industry

The centre of excellence for furniture

News Article

Vietnam-EU legal timber agreement signed

On the 19 October 2018 the European Union has signed an agreement to support the Vietnamese government’s forest governance improvement goals, aimed at ensuring that the timber it imports from the Southeast Asian country is legally sourced.

The implementation of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) will involve many stages. Currently timber and timber products imported from Vietnam are subject to the due diligence requirements of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), which prohibits placement of illegally harvested timber on the EU market.

Vietnam will remain under the EUTR regime even after the ratification of the FLEGT-VPA until such time that Vietnam can develop and implement the Vietnam Timber Legality Assurance System (VNTLAS) as stated in the VPA. Vietnam now has to draft legislation to establish the VNTLAS, after which it and the EU will set up a committee to monitor implementation of the VPA.

Currently Vietnam’s balance of imported and exported timber presents a significant challenge when mitigating risks of illegal timber in their supply chain. Each year Vietnam imports circa 5 million cubic meters of timber from more than 100 countries, with over 150 different species of timber included. These imports are needed as Vietnam has banned domestic forest logging, and plantation-grown timber cannot meet current demand.

Many of the countries of origin and species are high-risk and the challenge for the Vietnamese government will be to implement a governance system that can control the legality of timber imported into the country. It is the core requirement of the VPA that mechanisms are established and in place to ensure that timber imports are legal.

Investing in financial and human resources will be needed to address gaps in knowledge with Customs officials who have insufficient knowledge of timber species. Other issues include Vietnam’s well-documented history of importing illegal timber.

Whilst the FLEGT-VPA is seen as part of the solution challenges exist within Vietnam to raise awareness of the importance of clean timber. There is a quickly expanding middle class, a risk highlighted in FIRA’s sustainability hotspot report, which increases the pressure on raw materials, including timber. Ensuring that those purchasing timber products place a value on these products having been sourced from legal timber will be crucial to the success of the FLEGT-VPA in Vietnam.

Forest Trends surveys within their report have found that many companies providing timber to the domestic and export market are ambivalent to whether timber is legally sourced or not. Many wood processors and manufacturers are also operating at small scale meaning they are unlikely to be able to implement systems to mitigate illegal timber risks.

When you combine all these factors it means that the Vietnamese authorities face an uphill challenge to meet the requirements of FLEGT-VPA licence.

FIRA International provide training on the EU Timber Regulation. For more information on what you organisation must do to meet the requirements of the EUTR please contact info@fira.co.uk

You may be interested in
entries related to...

Environment,
EUTR
29 Entries

  • Latest Club Green Member's Newsletter Published - February 2019

    Latest Club Green Member's Newsletter Published - February 2019

    News February 2019

    Keeping you up-to-date with environmental legislation

  • DEFRA Guidance on F gas: guidance for users, producers and traders

    DEFRA Guidance on F gas: guidance for users, producers and traders

    News February 2019

    guidance to industry in the event of a “no deal BREXIT scenario

  • Proposal to further restrict formaldehyde under REACH

    Proposal to further restrict formaldehyde under REACH

    News February 2019

    Research conducted on behalf of the European Commission

  • FEMB Technical Committee Meeting Report - January 2019

    FEMB Technical Committee Meeting Report - January 2019

    News February 2019

    Development of a European Standard for Sustainable Office Furniture Products.

  • Proposal to implement a new substance registration process under REACH

    Proposal to implement a new substance registration process under REACH

    News February 2019

    A second proposal is evaluating whether the requirements for chemical dossier updates needs strengthening.

  • REACH Update - New Additions to Substances of Very High Concern

    REACH Update - New Additions to Substances of Very High Concern

    News February 2019

    Five new SVHC added to the Candidate List

  • The UK Government’s Resources and Waste strategy for England paper published

    The UK Government’s Resources and Waste strategy for England paper published

    News January 2019

    The Government Resource and Waste strategy forms part of the 25 Year Environment Plan

  • DEFRA guidance on trading in CITES listed species in the event of a no-deal BREXIT

    DEFRA guidance on trading in CITES listed species in the event of a no-deal BREXIT

    News January 2019
  • Club Green environment manual updated

    Club Green environment manual updated

    News January 2019

    Comprehensive guide to the fundamentals of environmental management

  • Environment Agency publishes updates to Waste Charging Scheme and WEEE Registers

    Environment Agency publishes updates to Waste Charging Scheme and WEEE Registers

    News January 2019

    Updates for Waste (Miscellaneous) Charging Scheme and Waste electrical and the electronic equipment (WEEE) public regist...

  • BIFMA Standard Chemical Subcommittee report

    BIFMA Standard Chemical Subcommittee report

    News December 2018

    Committee meeting report available to members of the Research Association

  • REACH EU exit guidance

    REACH EU exit guidance

    News December 2018

    Seven different scenarios are covered.

  • PEFC Annual Stakeholder Event Report October 2018

    PEFC Annual Stakeholder Event Report October 2018

    News October 2018

    Stakeholder meeting to discuss sustainable forestry and receive an update on PEFC scheme

  • Guidance on buying and selling timber in a Brexit no-deal scenario

    Guidance on buying and selling timber in a Brexit no-deal scenario

    News October 2018

    Includes links to the government guidance documents

  • Input into blueprint for the next Environment Act

    Input into blueprint for the next Environment Act

    News September 2018

    The general principles of this act will apply to all UK nations.

  • Environment

    Knowledge Hub
  • A Guide to the Environmental Legislation for Weeds and Non Native Species

    A Guide to the Environmental Legislation for Weeds and Non Native Species

    Knowledge Hub

    Simplified guide to the Regulations that govern the identification and management of weeds and non-native flora species ...

  • Chain of Custody and Timber Procurement

    Chain of Custody and Timber Procurement

    Knowledge Hub

    If you purchase or sell wood or timber based items you will be increasingly aware of the growing demand for your product...

  • ENDS Report - The environment after BREXIT

    ENDS Report - The environment after BREXIT

    Knowledge Hub
  • ​FEMB Technical Committee Meeting Report - September 2016

    ​FEMB Technical Committee Meeting Report - September 2016

    Knowledge Hub

    Team of experts to review European norms and standards and monitors proposed changes in Regulations

  • FIRA Guide to the European Timber Regulations (EUTR)

    FIRA Guide to the European Timber Regulations (EUTR)

    Knowledge Hub

    Launched in October 2010 the EUTR came into force in March 2013, with the aim of preventing illegally harvested wood fro...

  • REACH Guide

    REACH Guide

    Knowledge Hub

    This guide is designed to give a general introduction to REACH awareness and user obligations.

  • Sustainable Forestry & PEFC scheme updates​ - January 2017

    Sustainable Forestry & PEFC scheme updates​ - January 2017

    Knowledge Hub

    These are notes from a Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) workshop

  • Remanufacturing for the Circular Economy

    Remanufacturing for the Circular Economy

    Knowledge Hub

    Report summarising the finding of a project which compares the potential of remanufactured furniture versus brand new pr...

  • Study into the Feasability of Benchmarking Carbon Footprints of Furniture Products 2011

    Study into the Feasability of Benchmarking Carbon Footprints of Furniture Products 2011

    Knowledge Hub
  • Sustainability Hotspot Analysis for the Furniture Industry

    Sustainability Hotspot Analysis for the Furniture Industry

    Knowledge Hub

    The Furniture Industry Research Association presents the wide ranging aspects of a sustainability hotspot analysis by re...

  • Furniture Industry Sustainability Programme

  • Club Green Member Newsletters

  • Club Green Members Manual