Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade

Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade

The UK Timber Trade Federation strongly supports the EU FLEGT Action Plan and is working to grow the demand for FLEGT-licensed timber in Europe. The UK along with other EU member states have a strong partnership with the 15 countries who are implementing the FLEGT VPA process.


Acting as a membership body, the TTF applies pressure on the timber industry to integrate sustainable procurement policies into their businesses, utilise sustainable forest management, as well as supporting FLEGT and VPA countries through trade.

The Timber Trade Federation FLEGT project

The Timber Trade Federation are promoting FLEGT-licensed timber as a legal, verified way to import tropical timber, promoting the use of and growing the demand among stakeholder in Europe, including designers, architects, specifiers and traders.


Funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), our work plan focuses on Europe – recognising this as one of the main markets for FLEGT-licensed timber and a strong actor behind the FLEGT Action Plan – FLEGT-licensed Indonesia, VPA implementing Ghana and China – as a strong power of influence for trade and requirement standards.


Conversations about Climate Change is our design competition, exhibition and event series, in collaboration with the Building Centre. Winning designs will be created from responsibly sourced tropical hardwood from VPA countries sourced through TTF members in line with the Responsible Purchasing Policy.

Aiding through Trade

The TTF are actively promoting FLEGT, encouraging our members, traders, architects, designers and specifiers to use FLEGT licensed timber.


Increasing pressure on the timber industry to follow responsible procurement practices, source from sustainably managed forests and eradicate illegal logging, led to the formation of FLEGT. Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) is the EU’s response to the problem of illegal logging and trade in tropical countries through strengthened sustainable forest management (SFM), improved governance and promotion of trade in legally produced timber.


Timber from a FLEGT-licensed country is considered to have undergone due diligence due to the timber legality assurance system of the supplier country. Therefore buying FLEGT-licensed timber means that you do not need to undergo further due diligence as authorities of the EUTR consider this proof of legality and give it a ‘green lane‘!


Indonesia is currently the only country to have a FLEGT license, with 14 further tropical countries currently working towards FLEGT. The implementing of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), the core of the FLEGT process, takes a long time in order to change engrained governance, implement SFM strategies and enforce country-wide change. The TTF recognise the longevity behind FLEGT, encouraging our members to support the action plan through trade and communication activities to wider stakeholders in the EU.

FLEGT & Certification

The TTF’s Responsible Purchasing Policy, requires members to undergo a risk management framework ensuring due diligence on their timber products. Buying from certification sources or a country that is FLEGT-licensed is one way that companies can reduce the risk and demand of buying illegally sourced timber.


FLEGT raises standards across the entire implementing country, whereas voluntary certification schemes raise the standards in the concessional area where the certificate is valid.


However it does not have to be one or the other.


Purchasing and specifying timber that is FLEGT and certification certified is the best way to ensure that timber is legally sourced, benefits local communities and eradicating illegal logging practices.


Combined, FLEGT and certification have a more substantial impact on sustainability for the country, raising the standard for all. Both FLEGT and certification schemes ultimately work towards sustainable forest management, increasingly the supply of responsibly sourced legal timber and working to eradicate illegal logging.  FLEGT and the VPA process met around 60-75% of the requirements for FSC.


Uptake of certification in tropical forests is currently around 6.5% coverage compared to the temperate forests at 16.3% and boreal at 22% coverage. Illegal practices, weak governance and land rights disputes are a few of the issues plaguing tropical forest areas. Recognising the importance of a holistic, country-wide law to change forestry practices led to the formation of FLEGT, requiring transformation to all of the principles behind illegal logging.