VPA annex on the implementation schedule
Most Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) to date have an annex on the implementation schedule. The schedule outlines the suggested order and timetable for actions the parties agree to take after negotiations end and implementation begins. Actions include:
- Establishing the joint implementation committee
- Building capacity
- Implementing agreed systems
- Legal and governance reforms
- Information sharing
- Joint evaluation of the timber legality assurance system
The annex on the implementation schedule enables the parties to a VPA to identify next steps and prioritise areas of work. The annex also provides a VPA joint implementation committee with a basis for creating a work plan and monitoring progress.
Partner countries that do not have a VPA annex on the implementation schedule, such as Indonesia, still need to prepare a schedule. Indonesia and the EU developed a schedule during VPA implementation in the form of Joint Action Plans.
Annexes on the implementation schedule indicate when parties expect FLEGT licensing to begin. For VPAs agreed to date, however, negotiated timetables for FLEGT licensing have proved too optimistic. Experience shows that the complex task of creating effective legality assurance systems often requires more time than VPA negotiators anticipate.