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VPA annex on product scope

The VPA annex on product scope identifies the range of timber and timber products covered by a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA). The annex, therefore, determines the parts of the private sector a VPA will affect and what their responsibilities under a VPA will be.

All VPAs must include logs, sawn wood, veneers, plywood and railway sleepers, but a VPA can also include additional products. To date, in order to cover all of their timber exports to the EU, all VPA partner countries have included additional products, as shown in Table 2.

The VPA annex on product scope identifies each product by a ‘HS' code, in line with the World Customs Union's system for classifying products. HS codes enable customs authorities in the EU to identify the product category to which imports belong.

Table 2. Variation in VPA annexes on product scope

Country

Products covered in addition to logs, sawn wood, veneers, plywood and railway sleepers

Cameroon

Furniture, fuel wood and wooden tools

Central African Republic

Furniture, fuel wood, wooden tools and wooden packing material

Ghana

Furniture

Indonesia

Furniture, fuel wood, wooden tools, wooden packing material, wood pulp, paper and paper products, and kitchen and tableware

Liberia

Furniture, fuel wood, wooden tools, wooden packing material and rubber wood chips. Charcoal will be included at a later stage

Republic of the Congo

Furniture, fuel wood, wooden tools, wooden packing material and charcoal

Some VPAs have a two-part annex on product scope. The second part lists timber species and/or products that are illegal to export. In the Indonesian VPA, for example, part A lists the products covered by the Indonesian FLEGT-licensing scheme. Part B lists four classes of products that are prohibited exports under Indonesian law and, therefore, cannot be FLEGT licensed.

So far, all VPA partner countries have included all timber exports in the scope of VPAs, not only exports to Europe. The scope of all VPAs, except the Central African Republic VPA, includes domestic as well as export markets. The Central African Republic has committed to developing appropriate legislation for community forests and artisanal permits to address domestic market products before including them in the VPA.

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Disclaimer. The content of VPA Unpacked is based on lessons and experiences captured and described by the EU FLEGT Facility and therefore is the sole responsibility of the Facility. For comments or questions, please contact the EU FLEGT Facility at: info@euflegt.efi.int