FLEGT-licensed timber and certification
A FLEGT licence demonstrates legality and meets all the requirements of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR). FLEGT licences are required across whole countries. Certification, on the other hand, is a voluntary private initiative that individual companies can choose to implement. While certification helps companies exercise due diligence, it is not proof of legality.
When exercising due diligence under the EUTR, operators may use in their risk assessment procedure certification or other third party verified schemes that include verification of compliance with applicable legislation. However, certification is not a proof of legally harvested timber. On the other hand, a valid FLEGT licence is a proof of legality. FLEGT licensed timber and timber products from VPA partner countries thus comply with the requirements of the EUTR.
FLEGT-licensed timber is good for people and planet
The multistakeholder nature of VPA processes means that, as well as promoting legal trade, the FLEGT-licensing scheme contributes to social and environmental goals. FLEGT-licensed timber is the culmination of years of effort and commitment to sustainable forest management from producer countries that have ratified VPAs with the EU. Before a country begins FLEGT licensing it undertakes significant changes to forest governance identified through a comprehensive multistakeholder process. It implements a robust, independently audited system for tracking timber and verifying its legality throughout the supply chain. And it commits to making information about its forest sector publicly available — an unprecedented level of transparency.
FLEGT stands for forest law enforcement, governance and trade
In 2003, the EU adopted the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan to address illegal logging and associated trade through demand- and supply-side measures. Demand-side measures include the EU Timber Regulation, while supply-side measures include Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) with timber-producing countries outside the EU. FLEGT licences link these demand-side and supply-side measures.