Saturday 27 May, 2017
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Malaysia EU-FLEGT VPA

(Malaysia-European Union - Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Voluntary Partnership Agreement)

The EU will be introducing a law on timber legality importing into the EU countries. Beginning 1 March 2013, timber products coming into the EU will be subjected to the requirement of having certification on the timber used to be from legal sources.

Under the VPA, the definition of legal timber is as follows:

‘Timber harvested by licensed person from approved areas and timber and timber products exported in accordance with the laws, regulations and procedures pertaining to forestry. Timber industry and trade of Malaysia’

Products Coverage

Currently, not all timber products were covered under the agreement. The timber products that are covered are as follow:

i) Logs

ii) Sawntimber

iii) Veneer

iv) Plywood

The Ministry, MPIC has agreed to the proposal that that further downstream products such as wooden furniture, moulding and joineries to be included in the list. This is to facilitate the “green lane” entry into the market as product certified as legal will have the express way into the market.

Timber Legality Assurance System (TLAS)

Under the FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) between the European Union and Malaysia, assurance of legal timber exported to the EU is provided using licences issued by Malaysia.

These licences will be underpinned by a Timber Legality Assurance System (TLAS) agreed upon under the VPA. Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB) will be the authority that will issue licence for TLAS and probably the export licence as well.

The negotiation has come to the final stage where the signing is to be expected by the end of the year 2012. The EUFLEGT will fully commenced by March 2013/

Key components of the TLAS are:

i) Definition of legal timber

ii) Principles and criteria of legal timber

iii) Control procedures

What is a Timber Legality Assurance System (TLAS)?

Legality definition: country-specific and widely consulted based on country’s applicable legislation

Verifiable control of the supply chain (traceability system), including imports

Sufficient capacity and appropriate tools to ensure effective verification

Licensing by national authority

Independent monitoring of the entire system by a third-party

For details, please refer to MTIB’s website, www.mtib.gov.my

MFPC urged furniture manufacturers of wood furniture products to be updated on the EU’s FLEGHT law and prepare accordingly to take advantage for the “green entry” for export into the EU countries.