Workers process wooden products at a local factory
©Thuy Dung / The Saigon Times
Under the VPA/FLEGT, Vietnam has pledged to develop and employ a timber legality assurance system, in line with the European Union’s requirements.
The system is aimed at tracing the origins of wooden products so that local agencies can issue FLEGT licenses for woodwork shipments to the European Union.
The VPA/FLEGT, after six years of negotiations, will help the local wood sector expand its markets, strengthen forest governance, address illegal logging and promote trade in verified legal timber products, contributing to the sustainable development of the wood processing sector.
At a recent seminar on the wood trade, Nguyen Tuong Van, deputy director of the Department of Science, Technology and International Cooperation, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, stated that enterprises planting forests and supplying, processing, trading and exporting wood and wooden products will be divided into two groups: compliance and noncompliance with the law.
Enterprises in the first group do not have to submit export papers to the forest management agencies. The rest must have 20% of their exports checked by forest rangers.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Ha Cong Tuan said the first wood shipment under the FLEGT license is expected to be exported to the European Union in June next year.
According to the Vietnam Timber and Forest Products Association, the European Union is one of five key import markets of Vietnamese wood and wooden products.
Last year, Vietnam exported US$785 million worth of wood and wooden products to the European Union, up 3% year-on-year and accounting for 9% of the country’s total export revenue. Up to 87% of wooden products shipped to the European Union were processed products with high added value.
Source: The Saigon Times