The EUTR, a savior against illegal forestry or just a trade-sanction?

June 27th, 2014 | Posted by Michael Hermens

I have been attending many meetings in the past few years related to Malaysia’s process towards signing the VPA (= Voluntary partnership Agreement) with the EU. All these meetings were, at least for, me very entertaining because lots of matters were discussed yet very little achieved. Everybody has of course a say but at the end there is little commitment to join “forces” and achieve workable results.

Indonesia recently signed the VPA which is excellent news and I would presume that from now onwards all exports from Indonesia with the V-Legal certificate will have the “green-lane treatment” in Europe. Unfortunately this is not the case and they still have to arrange the “due diligence” as required under the EUTR.

The EUTR comprises about rules and regulations but says very little how to comply with these rules and regulations. And worse, when you contact the representatives of the European Forest Institute (EFI) in SE Asia, they are unable to tell you what one has to do to comply with the EUTR except to practice “due diligence”.

I have one simply question which I would like to be answered by the EU or EFI ; what documents does one have to produce less exporting V-Legal products from Indonesia (with VPA) compared to exporting products sourced from a country without a VPA? I presume there must be some advantage to have the V-Legal certification?

Pretty sure that I will not get any answer and I get the feeling that all those EU staff involved with the EUTR simply do not have any answer because that would make their job soon redundant.
eu timber regulation (1)

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