Indonesian Timber Association Complains on Certified Timber Mechanism Inconsistency

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Jakarta (Greeners) – Indonesian Wood Panel Association (Apkindo) had recently complained on the inconsistency of Timber Legality Verification Certification (SVLK), said its Director Executive, Rubiyanto to Greeners, in Jakarta, on Sunday (28/02).

The complaint came after Trade Ministry issued a Ministerial Regulation Number 89/2015 related on Export Requirements for Forestry Products which voided SVLK standards for exporting timber products.

“By eliminating SVLK, especially for furniture products, timber business will expected to gain losses as they cannot enter Europe market,” he said adding that SVLK certification has guaranteed Indonesia’s timber quality and legality among international buyers, notably Europeans.

Furthermore, he said that the regulation would hamper Indonesia’s timber product exports.In addition, European Union would postpone Voluntary Parntership Agreement Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (VPA FLEGT) implementation if SVLK does not apply for furniture products.

“You’ll see. If the ministerial regulation still applies, then [VPA FLEGT] would most likely be delayed. If it is keeping delayed then business people would have to suffer the damage because they will have to pay US$ 2.000-US$ 2.500 per invoice. This is a large money,” he said.

Indonesia’s Minister of Trade, Thomas Lembong issued the ministerial regulation which basically excluded 15 forestry products to obtain SVLK certification as its compulsory requirement.

Zainuri Hasyim of Independent Forestry Monitoring Network (JPIK), who also represents Eyes of the Forest, AURIGA, and APIKS, said that Minister of Trade had ignored valuable inputs from stakeholders to strengthen forest management in the country.

Meanwhile. Faith Doherty, Forest Campaign Leader of EIA, said that the regulation was giving ‘back door’ open for elite companies with high level connections.

The regulation, Doherty added, had violated the aim and mechanism which were the foundations of SVLK and VPA. As a result, it leads to renegotiation of VPA, redesign SVLK  certification, or structural blockage on companies from European Union market.

“Bad regulation, ironically made to speed up the deregulation, must be amended,” she said.

FLEGT license is a license guaranteeing timber quality of VPA countries, starting from harvest, process, and export in accordance to national regulation.

Out of six signatories, Indonesia is the only Asian countries. All six countries are currently developing a system requires to control, verify, and give license for legal wood.

Reports by Danny Kosasih