Indonesian timber, panels and forestry companies have jointly launched a declaration outlining steps required to implement a verification system needed to comply with the new EU Timber Regulation.

The declaration, launched at a ceremony in Jakarta on March 20, identifies eight practical steps that the industry, stakeholders and international trade partners need to take to implement Indonesia’s Wood Legality and Verification System (SVLK).

The partners said implementing SVLK would see Indonesia achieve world-class timber production and trade standards.

Backing the declaration are the Indonesian Exporters Association, Indonesian Forestry Community, Association of Indonesian Forest Concessionaires, the Indonesian Wood Panel Association, the Indonesia Sawmill & Woodworking Association, the Indonesian Pulp and Paper Association and the Indonesian Furniture Industry & Handicraft Association.

Practical steps outlined in the document include examining adopting a phased approach to SVLK implementation to ensure a successful transition to full compliance and mitigating trade disruption; and work with foreign countries to build an efficient mechanism to promote legal wood products and avoid “unnecessary administrative and financial impacts” of verified legal Indonesian timber.

Other steps include engaging with stakeholders from across the forest industry’s multi-layer supply chains to help finalise full SVLK compliance; assisting small to medium sized and remotely based companies to be fully SVLK compliant; and seeking active participation in the process to implement the Voluntary Partnership Agreement with the EU.

Indonesia introduced the SVLK in 2009. So far it covers 90 forest concessions across 9.5 million ha (out of a total concession area of 25 million ha).

The SVLK will be used under the VPA process, which is to be signed with the EU by the summer.