Ghana’s Forestry Commission to brief EU Member States on FLEGT progress

Ghana’s Forestry Commission to brief EU Member States on FLEGT progress


Representatives from the Forestry Commission of Ghana will meet EU Member States in Brussels this month to review progress towards Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) licensing. Ghana has ratified a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the EU, which aims to promote trade in legal timber and timber products and improve governance in the forest sector. Ghana is currently developing the systems needed to control, verify and license legal timber.

On 19 April, the European Commission will convene a meeting of the Expert Group on FLEGT/ EU Timber Regulation (EUTR). Among other agenda items, the Group will review the outcomes of a cargo shipment test that was launched in late 2017. The test evaluated export and import procedures in preparation for the transport of Ghanaian FLEGT-licensed timber to Europe. 

Ghana and the EU FLEGT Facility launched the shipment test procedures in preparation for the Final Joint Assessment of the Ghana Legality Assurance System (GhLAS), which is to begin in May 2018. The test involved the Forestry Commission of Ghana, a Ghanaian timber exporter, timber importers in Germany and Spain, and competent authorities in Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. 

The test report found the Ghanaian system working well in principle, with Ghana having ‘demonstrated an impressive technical capacity.’ It also identified procedures requiring fine-tuning and administrative issues to attend. These will be addressed according to a Forestry Commission action plan that is currently being implemented.