DEFRA consultation on FLEGT Regulation in the UK

Are you trading FLEGT licensed timber in the UK? Do you have suggestions for the UK government on how to raise awareness about FLEGT-licensed timber and reduce burdens on businesses?

DEFRA is currently conducting a statutory review on awareness and demand issues relating to FLEGT licensed timber in the UK. The survey, which takes 5-10 minutes to complete, is open until 3rd July. Your participation is appreciated.


 

FLEGT-licensed timber is recognized by the UK government as evidence of compliance with the UK and EU Timber Regulations (UKTR/EUTR). This recognition allows FLEGT-licensed timber to be freely placed on the UK market without the need for additional due diligence under the UKTR/EUTR. The UK government also accepts FLEGT timber as evidence of compliance with the Timber Procurement Policy (TPP).

At the core of FLEGT are legally-binding trade agreements (VPAs) between producer and consumer countries, aimed at combatting illegal logging and improving forest governance. VPAs have proven effective in enhancing transparency, establishing inclusive decision-making processes, improving information access, strengthening civil society organizations, and ensuring fair distribution of forest revenues to communities. The Timber Trade Federation (TTF, now Timber Development UK (TDUK) has always been a strong advocate in favor of these partnerships and processes.

FLEGT is also a valuable complement to voluntary certification schemes such as FSC and PEFC, bolstering on-the-ground forest governance. While both certification and FLEGT have their strengths and weaknesses, fostering synergies between them is beneficial to all.

The current UK TPP does not explicitly recognize FLEGT-licensed timber as evidence of compliance for sustainable practices in an equal footing with that of FSC/PEFC. TDUK emphasizes the pivotal role of consumer countries, including the UK, in actively supporting and promoting FLEGT. This support is crucial for fostering sustainable practices, enhancing forest governance, and ensuring responsible timber sourcing.

It is TDUK view that we need to send a strong signal of support for policies which make a strong positive change on forest governance at national level.

This becomes even more significant with the imminent implementation of the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR), which demands heightened support from producer countries in terms of transparency, communication and governance. Collaborative efforts between consumer and producer countries are paramount in tackling deforestation and upholding sustainable practices in the timber industry.

 

We urge our member s to respond to the survey. Please contact Xiao Ma at xma@timberdevelopment.uk for any questions or clarifications.