FLEGT and VPA countries
In 2003, the EU adopted the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan to address illegal logging and associated trade on the basis of cooperation between producers and consumers and a combination of demand- and supply-side measures.
The EU FLEGT Action Plan’s demand-side measures include the EU Timber Regulation, which prohibits operators from placing illegally harvested timber and timber products on the EU market. Its supply-side measures include Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs), which are legally binding trade agreements between the EU and timber-exporting countries outside the EU.
Fifteen tropical countries are implementing or negotiating VPAs. Together their forests cover an area the size of the EU and they account for 80% of EU tropical timber imports.
The countries implementing VPAs are Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ghana, Indonesia, Liberia, the Republic of the Congo and Vietnam. The VPAs with Guyana and Honduras have been initialled. Indonesia is the first to reach the milestone of FLEGT licensing; see the section on Indonesian FLEGT licences. Ghana is also at an advanced stage of VPA implementation. The countries negotiating VPAs are Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Laos, Malaysia and Thailand.
For more information on each country, visit the EU FLEGT Facility’s page on VPA countries.