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Austria and EU acknowledge the Indonesian timber legality assurance system

September 5, 2016

Indonesia and EU agree to start the FLEGT licensing scheme for verified legal timber products on November 15th, 2016.

On August 18th, an EU regulation was issued in order to allow Indonesian wood products approved by SVLK into all 28 member countries of the European Union. Indonesia and EU agreed on starting the FLEGT licensing scheme for verified legal timber products on November 15th, 2016. Due to this decision, Indonesia is the first country in the world to achieve this major milestone in the global effort to combat illegal logging and associated illegal timber trade. 

The Indonesian Timber Legality Assurance System, the Sistem Verifikasi Legalitas Kayu (SVLK) , assures that Indonesian wood products do not stem from illegal logging activities. With the acknowledgement of the SVLK by Austria and the EU, Indonesia has become the first country to receive a FLEGT (EU's Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade) license. A FLEGT-licensed product automatically meets all requirements of the EU Timber Regulation. Therefore, EU operators can place FLEGT-licensed timber on the EU market without doing due diligence. 

“By guaranteeing legality, FLEGT licences should not only make business more efficient for traders in both Indonesia and the EU but also strengthen governance and ensure fairness to all forest stakeholders. They are the result of increasing transparency and better accountability and stakeholder participation in decisions about forests”, said Vincent Guérend, the EU Ambassador to Indonesia.  

This agreement is not only a great economic opportunity for Austria and Indonesia, it also serves to protect the environment and promote sustainable practices in the timber industry. Furthermore, it could become a barometer for timber legality and environmental regulations.