Indonesia wood exports to EU reach US$25m within days of FLEGT license approval

Wood processing in Indonesia. Photo credit: FLEGT

As many as 845 FLEGT licenses have been issued to Indonesian wood products exporters between November 15 and 23, a value reaching US$24.96 million, according to official data.

Wood-based panels—the majority of the shipments—were valued at US$11.92 million, followed by furniture at US$7.25 million.

Indonesia is the first country to receive EU-approved Foreign Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) license, which certifies that timber is legally sourced. FLEGT licensed products do not have to undergo further due diligence, which means quicker market access, boosting Indonesia’s competitive advantage in the EU.

The value of Indonesian timber exports has risen to US$10.6 billion in 2015 after the national timber legality assurance system, known as SVLK, was implemented in 2013. 

“Indonesia’s achievement in developing a specific certification system for timber legality must act as the guide toward improving our competitiveness in the global market and also to prove Indonesia’s commitment in guaranteeing the sustainability of our natural resources,” said Indonesian Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution

Indonesia supplies 10 percent of the world’s timber market and EU imports a third of that. The forestry sector contributes one percent to the country’s GDP. 

Vietnam and Ghana are currently at various stages of negotiating FLEGT licensing with the EU.