The EU Timber Regulation bans illegal timber in Europe and requires due diligence on imported wood. Given the recent ratification of the EU-Indonesia Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), the Timber Regulation raises questions about the role that Indonesia's timber legality certification scheme—the SVLK—plays in securing access for Indonesian timber to the European market. Certified timber automatically qualifies for export to Europe under the VPA, but the SVLK has weaknesses which the VPA may be unable to address. The Timber Regulation might have helped, but it explicitly excludes VPA timber from its due diligence requirements. Critically, though, it continues to apply to Indonesian timber entering the EU via third countries. Whether it can address the SVLK's shortcomings as regards this timber depends on: (1) whether the SVLK meets the Regulation's certification scheme reliability criteria; and (2) whether the EUTR considers certification sufficient proof of legality to satisfy due diligence requirements.
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Vol. 17 • No. 1