AseanOutlook.com – Indonesia was the first country to cooperate with the European Union (EU) to combat the illegal timber trade. This cooperation is an exceptional example of between producing countries and importing countries in managing the timber trade.
This initiative can be an effective model for countries in the fight against global illegal timber trade “, said Ambassador Yuri O. Thamrin before the Annual Session of the Law Enforcement Committee, the World Excise Organization (WCO Enforcement Committee) on February 24 in Brussels, Belgium.
Since November 2016, Indonesia and the EU have implemented a partnership called the Indonesia – EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA).
Through this cooperation, Indonesia has the authority to issue a Timber Legality Assurance System (SVLK) permit for timber to be exported to the EU. Only wood that passes SVLK can be purchased by EU countries from Indonesia. Thanks to this cooperation, timber exports from Indonesia to the EU enjoy “green lane”, or facilities without physical inspection.
The Secretary General of the WCO, Kunio Mikuriya, views this cooperation as an important example to be shared with law enforcement officers (especially from the excise field) from all over the world that have gathered in Brussels for an annual meeting from the 24th to the 28th February 2020.
For this reason, Secretary General Mikuriya has invited the Ambassador of Indonesia to Belgium, EU, and Luxembourg, Yuri O. Thamrin to share Indonesia’s experiences and capacities in developing cooperation with the EU through FLEGT.