Indonesian delegation woos UK with promise of FLEGT-licensed timber

12 May 2016

Indonesia could now be just three months away from shipping FLEGT-licensed timber to the UK, high ranking Indonesian officials told journalists and timber traders in London earlier this week.

The officials were joined by Indonesian timer industry representatives on the first date of a European “roadshow” at the Indonesian Embassy, following the announcement by the EU and Indonesian government on April 21 which stated that the EU and Indonesia are ready to move towards starting the licensing of timber exports.

Indonesia will become the first nation to complete the requirements and start a licensing scheme for legal timber exports to the EU as part of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) process.

FLEGT officials at the press briefing told TTJ that they were aiming to hold an event later this year to mark the import of the first licensed timber to the UK.

“This is an important moment for Indonesia,” said Dr Agus Justianto, expert staff to the minister of environment and forestry on economic and natural resources at the London press briefing.

“We hope that when we get the FLEGT licence it will give us a competitive advantage in the EU."

He said Indonesia’s timber exports were worth US$16.4bn, with US$878m of timber products going to the EU in 2015.

The UK is the biggest importer of Indonesian timber products within the EU, with its imports valued at US$546m in 2015.

Indonesian timber producers present at the briefing said UK customers were excited that FLEGT-licensed timber was “finally” getting off the ground.

Indonesia’s roadshow which will also stop at Paris, Hamburg, Den Haag and Brussels, is designed to familiarise EU timber importers and Competent Authorities with Indonesia’s Timber Legality Assurance System (SVLK).

FLEGT-licensed products automatically meet the requirements of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), which prohibits EU operators from placing illegally harvested timber and timber products on the EU market.

Indonesian officials at the London press briefing