The Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan of the EU was established in 2003. It aims to reduce illegal logging by strengthening sustainable and legal forest management, improving governance and promoting trade in legally produced timber.
Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) are a central part of the EU’s strategy to reduce illegal logging and related trade. A VPA is a bilateral trade agreement between the EU and a timber-exporting country outside the EU. Under a VPA, the timber-producing country develops systems to verify that its timber exports are legal, and the EU agrees to accept only licensed imports from that country.
The EU Timber Regulation helps to reduce illegal logging by ensuring that no illegal timber or timber products can be sold in the EU. It prohibits operators in Europe from placing illegally harvested timber and products derived from timber on the EU market.
A legality assurance system (LAS) is the central part of a VPA between the EU and a timber-exporting country outside the EU. This system makes it possible for the private sector and government to identify, monitor and license legally produced timber.
Public procurement policies are government policies which set out the requirements for products bought by government and public agencies. Under the FLEGT Action Plan, countries in the EU are encouraged to develop criteria for all relevant forest products. Applying these criteria ensures that the products are independently verified as legal and/or sustainable.
1 Principle

A Principle is a main component of legal compliance as described in the Legality Definition according to the laws and regulations of Viet Nam.

2 Criterion

A Criterion is a sub-component of a Principle in the Legality Definition identifying an aspect of legal compliance from laws and regulations of Viet Nam selected for its relevance.

3 Verifier

A Verifier is a specific requirement of legal compliance which can be checked and validated, as related to Principles and Criterion set out in the Legality Definition.

4 Establishment of Verifier

Establishment of Verifier refers to the procedures that are conducted by regulatory entities to prepare the document or dossier of documents according to a defined format and which represents the Verifier used to demonstrate legal compliance.

5 Verification of Evidence

Verification of Evidence refers to the process and methodology used by the verification entity to check and validate legal compliance based on the relevant Verifiers.

6 Supply Chain Control

Supply Chain Control refers to the methods and Verifiers that are used to trace the origins and quantities of timber and timber products throughout the supply chain from imports, harvesting, transportation, processing and export.

7 Origin traceability

Origin traceability is a synonym of chain of custody where the sources timber and timber products originate from are identifiable through traceability systems.

8 Chain of custody

Chain of Custody is a documented system of verifiable ownership that establishes the traceability of individual timber or timber products from the end user through its various processing and transportation steps back to the forest of origin.

9 Independent evaluation

Independent Evaluation refers to periodic assessment of the implementation, effectiveness and credibility of the Legality Assurance System and FLEGT Licensing system related to wood products exported to EU markets from Viet Nam, carried out by an independent organization not directly involved in forest management, timber processing, timber trade or regulation in the forestry sector.

10 Environmental impact assessment

Environmental impact assessments refer to the analysis and predictions of possible environmental impacts specific projects may cause. These assessments are conducted so as to work out what measures need to be implemented in order to protect the environment while such projects are carried out (Ref. Article 3 of Law No.52/2005/QH11 on Environmental Protection).

11 Environmental protection commitment

Environmental protection commitments refer to a simpler form of environmental impact assessment used for smaller scale projects (Ref. Chapter IV of Decree No 29/2011/ND-CP).

12 Sustainable forest management

The practice of meeting the forest resource needs and values of the present without compromising the similar capability of future generations. Sustainable forest management involves practicing a land stewardship ethic that integrates the reforestation, managing, growing, nurturing, and harvesting of trees for useful-products with the conservation of soil, air and water quality, wildlife and fish habitat, and aesthetics (UN Conference on Environment and Development, Rio De Janeiro, 1992)

13 Forest owner (forest title holder)

Forest owner refers to organizations or households that are assigned or have leased forest land from the Government for forestry-related production or business, in accordance with the Law on Forest Protection and Development.

14 Households

Households refer to any domestic households, individuals (domestic and foreign), village communities, and household businesses engaged in the harvesting, processing, transporting, importing/exporting, and production of timber and timber products.

15 Organizations

Organizations can refer to and include forestry companies and other state enterprises, forest protection and management boards, plus other cooperatives and enterprises engaged in the harvesting, processing, transporting, importing/exporting, and production of timber and timber products.

16 Operator

In the context of the EUTR, any legal entity that places timber or timber products on the EU market.

In the context of the VPA, any legal entity that places timber or timber products on the Vietnamese market.

17 Shipment

A Shipment is a consignment of timber or timber products with a FLEGT License to be placed on the EU market at one time, through a single first entry point in the EU.

18 Shipment-based licensing

Shipment-based licensing refers to a licensing system where FLEGT licenses demonstrating legal compliance are issued by the Licensing Authority for each shipment exported to the EU.

19 Point of entry

A port or a border crossing through which timber or timber products of Viet Nam are imported in EU under the supervision of Customs or any prescribed competent authority.

20 Customs documents

Customs documents refer to documents required by Vietnamese customs authorities for all imported and exported timber and timber products. These documents include customs declaration forms, sale contracts, sales invoices, bill of lading, and packing lists of imported or exported products.

21 Timber product profile

Timber product profile includes the records related to how timber products are prepared. They are stored in the agencies where the timber product is produced but also are distributed with the timber products throughout the entire process of harvesting, trading, transporting, storage and processing (Ref. Article 3 of Circular No.01/2012/TT-BNNPTNT)

22 Harvesting design statement

A harvesting design statement is a document describing the basic location of the harvesting area, the harvesting techniques used, as well as describing the amount, categories and details regarding the forest harvesting technical standards as established by the forest owners and/or relevant consulting services (Ref. Article 2 of Circular No.35/2011/TT-BNNPTNT).

23 Design unit

Design unit is an entity certified by a competent authority to design forest harvesting operations.

24 Main harvesting

Harvesting timber for mainly economic purposes but having to do so in an appropriate manner so as to make use of the forest’s growth and ensure sustainable forest management (Ref. Article 2 of Circular No.35/2011/TT-BNNPTNT).

25 Harvesting application

An administrative document that has to be submitted to the relevant authorities in order to register for the harvesting of timber and non-timber forest products (Ref. Article 2 of Circular No.35/2011/TT-BNNPTNT).

26 List of products expected to be harvested

Information on the location, size of the area, quantity, and categories of the timber and non-timber products that are to be harvested or salvaged. An estimated timeframe of completion is also included (Ref. Article 2 of Circular No.35/2011/TT-BNNPTNT).

27 Timber salvage harvestingLogging trees that fall outside of the category of main harvesting.

28 Timber sanitation harvestingIncludes collecting fallen trees, dry and rotten timber, log cores, burnt timber, branches, stumps, and roots of all sizes and varieties.

29 Tree marking list

A document that records the name and size of the trees that are allowed to be cut down in the proposed harvesting area.

30 Tree marking hammer

A square-faced steel hammer with QL and the hammer’s number embossed on its head. It is used to mark trees following a defined procedure that are determined to be fit to be cut down as per a forest timber harvesting design.

31 Forest hammer

Around-faced style hammer with either KL or KL-NK and the hammer’s number embossed on the head. It is used to mark on domestically harvested and imported timber as per the defined procedures in order to help manage and trace the timber origin.

32 Packing listList of timber products aboard and waiting to be transported by one vehicle either for trade, export, and import or to be made into timber products.

33 Internal transportation

Refers to when a business transports its timber products amongst its various minor units such as processing factories, branches/stores, etc. all of which fall under a legalized business with internal, external or independent accounting.

However, in the case of forest owners or organizations which have ownership, individuals can also purchase or sell standing trees, as the transportation from the harvesting site to their stores or their processing facilities is also considered internal transportation. (Ref. Article 3 of Circular No.01/2012/TT-BNNPTNT).

34 Entry and exit books

Books that record forest products entry into and exit from the harvesting, processing and trading organizations. (Ref. Article 3 of Circular No.01/2012/TT-BNNPTNT).

35 Unprocessed timber products are products still in the original shape and size that have not been changed by tools or equipment of any kind after being harvested, imported or acquired. (Ref. Article 3 of Circular No.01/2012/TT-BNNPTNT).

36 Market-related incentives

Market-related incentives are mechanisms that support, through specific taxes, subsidies, or regulations, the trade of timber and timber products by demonstrating their legal origin. Both the VPA and the EU timber regulations are market-related incentives.