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Frequently asked questions about IMM:

How does IMM work?

IMM uses a combination of trade flow analysis and market surveys to independently assess market impacts of FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreements. IMM is funded by the European Commission and managed by the International Tropical Timber Organisation.

IMM methodology diagram

What are IMM's objectives?

IMM’s objectives are:

  • To collect, analyse, report and disseminate information on acceptance and trends of FLEGT-licensed timber on the EU market.
  • To improve knowledge and understanding of the impacts of VPAs on timber prices, trade and market trends globally, especially with regard to VPA partner countries.
  • To ensure VPA countries and the EC provide reliable statistics and information on FLEGT timber trade.
  • To respond to requests and inform decisions by the VPA Joint Monitoring and Review Mechanism (JMRM) in Ghana and the Joint Implementation Committees (JICs) in other VPA countries by providing independent, timely and accurate information on market impact.
  • To contribute to monitoring the impacts of the FLEGT Action Plan and to inform its implementation.

What benefits does IMM bring for VPA partner countries?

  • Timely and accurate information on timber and timber product trade flow. developments between partner countries and the EU.
  • Information on trade flow trends between the EU and countries competing countries.
  • Information on forest sector trends and investment.
  • Information on general market trends for tropical timber products in the EU.
  • Information on EU trade perceptions of partner countries’ competitiveness (overall or for certain product groups).
  • Information on EU trade perceptions of FLEGT VPAs and FLEGT-licensed timber.
  • Information on trade impacts of FLEGT licensing.
  • Information on EU trade perceptions of EUTR implementation and its impacts on tropical timber trade.

To what extent will/can stakeholders be involved in IMM 

  • IMM VPA partner country correspondents have been appointed in Indonesia and Ghana and will be appointed in other countries once VPA implementation is progressing towards licensing
  • The IMM correspondent will conduct an annual survey of stakeholders (authorities, trade/industry and civil society)
  • The survey will gauge stakeholders’ views of the VPA (does implementation improve governance, forest management standards etc)
  • The survey will look into potential trade/market impacts of VPA implementation (e.g. are timber supply shortages emerging due to implementation of the TLAS, does the TLAS have an impact on timber prices etc).
  • Broad stakeholder involvement is desirable as it will improve the quality of information IMM can provide. 

How is IMM connected with other monitoring initiatives in VPA partner countries? 

  • The national IMM correspondent participates in technical meetings and uses results from other monitoring initiatives to inform his own reports and research. He/she will also update the IMM management team on research results of other monitoring initiatives.
  • Unlike the national monitoring initiatives, IMM has a strong focus on global trade impacts of the FLEGT-VPA programme and especially on its impacts/perceptions on the European (consumer) markets.

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