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FLEGT Independent Market Monitor (IMM) Newsletter May 2020

30 June 2020

The May newsletter is issued by the FLEGT Independent Market Monitor (IMM), which uses trade flow analysis and market research to independently assess trade and market impacts of FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs). IMM is implemented by the ITTO and funded by EU. ATIBT works in partnership with IMM regularly.


We highlighted a few relevant news items from the IMM 2019 survey:


IMM 2019 survey shows little change in overall FLEGT awareness

Several companies expressed "not being fully aware" or "not fully" understanding the process. However, in 2019, the number of "totally unaware" companies has decreased. The IMM surveys highlight the need for further awareness raising, particularly down the supply chain in the EU and third countries implementing the EUTR.

70% of architects surveyed in the IMM 2019 survey said they were not aware of an "EU process to promote good forest governance in the main timber supplying countries and to ensure the legality of all timber produced in these countries" and only 9% were able to name the FLEGT VPA process.


80% of survey respondents find importing with FLEGT-License easier than EUTR DD

Indeed, in 2018 and 2019, around 80% of respondents stated that FLEGT licensing facilitated the import of wood products from Indonesia compared to the due diligence of the EUTR.


FLEGT licensed furniture biggest winner in EU tropical trade in year ending March 2020

Wood furniture from Indonesia maintained its position at the top of the league of the largest gains in EU tropical wood product imports in the twelve months to March 2020. Indonesian furniture imports during this period were US$70.2 million greater than in the previous 12-month period. Other Indonesian products amongst the largest gainers during this period were marquetry and joinery. For VPA implementing countries, significant gains were seen in imports of furniture, joinery and ‘other (not elsewhere specified)’ wood products from Viet Nam, and sawn wood from Republic of Congo.


EU27+UK imports from African VPA implementing countries: Cameroon slides while RoC makes gains

EU27+UK wood imports from Cameroon have been very volatile in recent years (see Chart). 12-month rolling total imports from Cameroon, which increased sharply to US$338 million in December 2016, fell to a low of US$257 million in March 2018. In the following months, imports recovered to US$309 million in the year ending June 2019 before sliding to US$291 in the year ending March 2020.

EU27+UK imports from the Republic of Congo (RoC), comprising sawn wood, logs and veneers, were rising consistently throughout 2018 and 2019. Rolling 12-month imports increased from US$78 million in January 2018 to a peak of US$105 million in November 2019 before easing back to US$102 million in March 2020. In the last two years there has been particularly strong growth in Belgian imports of logs and sawn wood and French imports of veneers from the RoC.


The full newsletter can be found here.

Other news

15 December 2020
Timber Trade Portal updated and now also available in French!
For the second time after its launch in 2016 the Timber Trade Portal has updated its country profiles and other background information. Each profile provides extensive country specific information on both timber industry and related timber legislation. The complete Timber Trade Portal is now also available in French for our francophone readers.
29 July 2020
Republic of Congo promulgates new forest code
The republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville) definitively adopted law n° 33-2020 on a new forest code on July 8, 2020. This new law is under discussion since 2018 and was still under debate in the National Assembly in April 2020. The new forest code introduces new concepts like certification, verification of legality, consideration of riversides communities, deforestation and reforestation, the fight against climate change, carbon credits, etc.
15 July 2020
Russian bill on compulsory notice for use of logging equipment
In April 2020, the Committee of Natural Resources, Property and Land Regulations in the Duma (the Parliament of Russia) proposed an innovative bill intended "to make the forest industry absolutely transparent”, according to Deputy Chairman Nikolay Nikolaev. The move aims to improve regulations related to the timber trade, and to tackle wood trafficking, but it also affects aspects of forest control. Public discussion of the proposal was initiated earlier in February.