IMM 2019 Annual Report published
The latest IMM Annual Report identifies an increasing level of recognition of FLEGT licensing as a means to reduce importers’ own risk under the EUTR and growing awareness of the wider benefits of implementing FLEGT VPAs in partner countries among the EU timber trade. It also demonstrates trade familiarity with the administrative processes involved in importing FLEGT-licensed timber and a very high level of acceptance of these processes.
IMM survey data and feedback from IMM trade consultations suggests that EUTR has prompted EU importers to reassess their supply chains, especially in countries considered “high risk” and supply chains were adapted as a result. However, this has not necessarily led to replacement of non FLEGT-licensed tropical timber with licensed timber. More frequently, importers reported that imports of certain products or species were discontinued and the product either sourced from specialist importers in the EU or replaced with non-tropical or even non-wood alternatives. This highlights once more the fundamental importance of raising awareness of the long-term benefits of the sustainable use of tropical timber and addressing environmental prejudice in EU markets. Partner countries should be encouraged to develop individual marketing strategies for their prospective FLEGT-licensed timber products in the EU as they approach the end of the VPA implementation process. It also highlights the importance of continuing efforts to bring more VPA processes to a successful conclusion and widen the source-base, range and availability of FLEGT- licensed timber and timber products.