The first FLEGT-licensed timber and wood products are set to be delivered by Indonesia to the EU this year in what is regarded as a key development in Europe’s efforts against illegal timber. FLEGT – the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade programme – has so far signed up 15 supplier countries to its Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs). This commits them to implementing legality assurance systems from forest to export. In exchange they get preferential EU market access, with their FLEGT-licensed timber and wood products exempt from further due diligence legality risk assessment by European importers under the anti-illegal wood EU Timber Regulation (EUTR).
Indonesia would be the first country to complete its VPA process and as such the Timber Trade Federation has issued information for UK importers concerning verification of FLEGT licences:
1. Indonesia will commence FLEGT licensing on Tuesday 15 November 2016.
2. If you import FLEGT-licensed timber, you will be required to submit the electronic FLEGT licence for verification to Regulatory Delivery before the timber arrives in the UK.
3. Under an interim licence verification process, the FLEGT licence should be emailed to email@example.com, along with a completed copy of the FLEGT licence verification form. This form is available at https://www.gov.uk/flegt.
4. Regulatory Delivery’s service level agreement for verifying licences is two working days from submission for sea freight, and four working hours (i.e. that fall within Mon-Fri, 09:00-16:00) for air freight.
5. Providing that the original licence was issued electronically, there is no need for the operator to submit a hard, paper copy to Regulatory Delivery; a submission of the electronic licence will suffice for verification purposes.
6. The cost of licence verification is £9.60 per licence. Operators will be invoiced at the end of the current financial year in order to collect payment for licences verified from 15 November 2016.
7. Regulatory Delivery will continue to develop the UK FLEGT online system; it is anticipated that this will launch early in 2017.
8. A Customs Information Paper on the import process for FLEGT-licensed products can be found at https://www.gov.uk/publications/FLEGT. If you use a freight forwarder or agent please check that they are aware of these requirements.
9. The European Commission has developed the website www.flegtlicence.org as a FLEGT licence information point. It includes a comprehensive frequently asked questions section.
10. A list of UK-specific frequently asked questions regarding FLEGT is attached with this note.
• share this information with your relevant contacts;
• provide Regulatory Delivery, the UK FLEGT Competent Authority, with the contact details of any organisations/individuals that should be added to this distribution list for future updates; and
• contact Regulatory Delivery if you are aware of any events over the coming months that Regulatory Delivery could attend to be of use in helping share information on UK FLEGT requirements.
You can contact Regulatory Delivery either at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on 0121 345 1218.
BWF members can find out more about FLEGT timber and the EU Timber Regulation in this recent article: www.bwf.org.uk/news/latest-news/breakthrough-timber-legality-move-promoted