European Union ratifies bilateral Liberia–EU VPA
On 15 May the EU Council took the decision to conclude the Voluntary Partnership Agreement with Liberia which the European Parliament had approved on 19 April.
The VPA will be published soon in the Official Journal of the European Union.
The VPA will enter into force once Liberia has also ratified the agreement, which went to Liberia's Parliament in April. The agreement calls for the required legality assurance systems to be in place by 2014.
The Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) aims to strengthen governance and law enforcement in the forestry sector and, through a licensing system, provide the assurance that its timber has been legally produced. It also demonstrates the Government of Liberia's commitment to improving accountability and transparency in the sector.
For more information on the scope and details of the bilateral VPA, you can consult the briefing note here.
Members of the EU and Liberia negotiation teams at the VPA initialing ceremony in Monrovia on 9 May 2011. © Jeff Haskins/BurnessGlobal.
© European Union, 2012.