EU and Honduras ratify agreement on illegal logging and trade in legal timber
The EU and Honduras have ratified a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade, to address illegal logging and promote trade in legal timber products.
Implementation of the VPA will take several years, during which Honduras will develop a timber legality assurance system to ensure that its timber and timber products come from legal sources and comply with relevant laws relating to importation, exportation, harvesting, processing and trade.
Implementation of the VPA will entail introducing systems and procedures to assure that businesses in Honduras only use domestic timber or import timber that has been harvested and traded in accordance with relevant legislation in the country of harvest. This will prevent illegally-harvested timber, and businesses trading it, from taking part in supply chains regulated by the timber legality assurance system.
An EU-Honduras Joint Implementation Committee (JIC) will oversee how the provisions of the Agreement are put into practice.
Once the VPA has been fully implemented, and a joint assessment by the EU and Honduras confirms this, the parties will set a date from which Honduras will issue FLEGT licences to its EU-bound exports of verified legal timber products.
FLEGT-licensed products will automatically meet the requirements of the EU Timber Regulation, which prohibits the placing of illegal timber on the EU market.
Until FLEGT licensing starts, imports into the EU from Honduras will continue to be subject to the due diligence requirements of the EU Timber Regulation aimed at ensuring that the risk of placing illegal products on the Union market is negligible.