The Indonesian government and European Commission (EC) have announced that the first FLEGT licenses will be issued in November 2016. After 13 years of effort to develop a framework to license the legality of all wood exported from Indonesia to the EU, this is a major achievement. The announcement follows a concerted effort to rollout the SVLK system throughout Indonesia’s forest products sector. The latest report by the EU-Indonesia VPA Joint Implementation Committee (JIC) in May shows the SVLK system had certified 23 million hectares of forest and that all large-scale primary and 82% of secondary processors had been audited.
Exporter SVLK certification was at 95%, with the remainder in process. Consequently, since V-Legal documents' introduction under the SVLK in 2013, they had been issued for 194 product types. Sales of these – to 200 countries, including all EU member states – totalled US$23bn.
An update on sales value is not available, but it has clearly risen significantly since, as the number of V-Legal licenses issued rose from 354,000 to end May 2016 to 462,000 to end August 2016. The SVLK’s underlying structures have developed too, with 15,000 central and local government, forestry personnel and community leaders and 700 auditors now trained.
The independent forest monitoring network (JPIK), which brings together civil society organisations to regularly assess the system, has also grown to 407 individuals and 51 organisations.
With the vast majority of Indonesia’s timber product export categories to the EU covered by the FLEGT VPA and the scale of the SVLK structure and licensing operation, FLEGT national policing bodies in the EU, or Competent Authorities (CAs), expect to be processing significant volumes of FLEGT licensed shipments soon after the first arrive before the end of the year.