Enterprises planting forests and supplying, processing, trading and exporting wood and wooden products will be classified into two groups: compliance and non-compliance with the law in line with Vietnam’s timber legality assurance system (VNTLAS).
Vietnam and the European Union (EU) inked a voluntary partnership agreement in forest law enforcement, governance and trade (VPA/FLEGT) in May last year, allowing Vietnamese enterprises with FLEGT licenses to ship wooden products to the EU. Firms complying with the law will find it easier to get FLEGT licenses.
On the sidelines of a recent seminar, Tran Hieu Minh at the Vietnam Administration of Forestry under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said VNTLAS is developed based on the Vietnamese law on wood export. When VNTLAS is put into operation, wood importers will have to prove the origin of wood as well.
Guidelines of VNTLAS will be completed by 2019 to enable the official operation of the system later, Minh said.
Nguyen Ton Quyen, vice chairman and general secretary of the Vietnam Timber and Forest Products Association (Vifores), said wood exporters expected the agreement to spur wood exports to the EU.
Regulations on wood export are necessary due to an increase in the number of suppliers of wood for export including forest farmers and wood traders but their knowledge of VPA/FLEGT is limited.
The connection between forest growers and wood processing and exporting enterprises should be strengthened to make the most of VPA/FLEGT.
Quyen proposed competent State agencies promptly issue guidelines for VPA/FLEGT and provide training for those involved in wood export activity.
Last year, Vifores provided training for wood enterprises but just those having business registration certificates attended. Vietnam currently has some 4,500 wood enterprises which have officially registered business and 27,000 others have not been registered. Vifores can manage about 2,000 businesses in the sector.
The Saigon Time
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