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VPA text and annexes

A Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) sets out the commitments of the EU and the VPA partner country. Each VPA has two parts – the main text and the annexes. The VPA negotiation process determines what information appears in each part.

VPA main text

The main text of a VPA explains the key obligations of each party and how the will interact during implementation of the agreement. The text is usually around 15 pages and varies little between VPAs. The text comprises around 30 articles that detail:

  • The objectives and scope of the agreement
  • Definitions of terms
  • The functions of implementing structures, such as the joint implementation committee
  • The principles behind different aspects of the agreement
  • Conditions for the agreement's entry into force and for parties to amend, suspend, extend or terminate the agreement

Some articles frame the VPA annexes, which provide detailed, country-specific information on aspects of the agreement.

VPA annexes

The annexes describe the practical steps for implementing the core commitments in the VPA in detail. Annexes provide country-specific information on, for example:

  • The laws the partner country will monitor under the VPA
  • The products the agreement will cover
  • The technical systems for verifying legality, tracing timber and issuing FLEGT licences in the partner country
  • The government departments and agencies involved in implementing the VPA and their roles
  • The information and documentation that will be put in the public domain and the mechanisms through which this will happen

The number of annexes varies between VPAs. Most VPAs to date have the following annexes:

Annexes relating to the timber legality assurance system

All VPAs have an annex on the timber legality assurance system. This annex tends, however, to focus on timber tracking, control and verification aspects of the system. In most VPAs to date, information about other elements of the timber legality assurance system, such as the legality definition, is in other annexes. Liberia, however, included the legality definition, timber tracking and control in a single annex.

Navigating VPAs

Table 1 shows the articles and annexes in each partner country's VPA that relate to each of the main topics.

Table 1. Articles and annexes relating to key topics in each partner country's VPA

Subject

Cameroon

Central African Republic

Ghana

Indonesia

Liberia

Republic of the Congo

Product scope

Anx 1

Anx 1 Anx 1 Anx 1 Anx 1 Anx 1

Legality definition

Art 8

Art 7

Art 7

Art 2

Art 7

Art 7

 

Anx 2

Anx 2 Anx 2 Anx 2 Anx 2 Anx 2

Timber legality assurance system tracking and control

Art 9

Anx 3

Art 8

Anx 5

Art 8

Anx 5

Art 7

Art 10

Anx 5

Art 8

Anx 2

Art 8

Art 9

Anx 3

EU procedures for imports of FLEGT-licensed timber products

Art 6

Anx 4

Art 5

Anx 3

Art 5

Anx 3

Art 5

Art 8

Anx 3

Art 5

Anx 3

Art 5

Anx 4

FLEGT licences

Art 4

Art 7

Anx 5

Art 3

Art 4

Art 6

Anx 4

Art 3

Art 6

Anx 4

Art 4

Art 6

Anx 4

Art 3

Art 4

Art 6

Anx 4

Art 3

Art 4

Art 6

Anx 5

Independent auditing

Art 11

Anx 6

Art 10

Anx 6

Art 10

Anx 6

Art 15

Anx 6

Art 11

Anx 5

Art 11

Anx 6

Timber legality assurance system assessment criteria

Anx 8

Anx 7

Anx 7

Anx 8

Anx 6

Anx 7

Implementation schedule

Art 14

Anx 9

Art 14

Anx 8

Art 14

Anx 8

See footnote*

Art 14

Anx 7

Art 14

Anx 8

Accompanying measures

Art 15

Anx 10

Arti 15

Anx 9

Art 15

Anx 9

Art16

Art 15

Anx 8

Art 15

Anx 9

Stakeholder involvement in implementation

Art 16

Art 16

Art 16

Art 11

Anx 5

Art 16

Art 16

Social safeguards

Art 17

Art 17

Art 17

Art 12

Art 17

Art 17

Public information

Art 21

Anx 7

Art 21

Anx 11

Art 20

Art 17

Anx 9

Art21

Anx 9

Art 21

Anx 10

Joint implementation committee

Art 19

Anx 11

Art 19

Anx 10

Art 19

Art 14

Art19

Anx 10

Art 19

Anx 11

Independent market monitoring

 

 

 

Art 15

Anx 7

 

 

* Not defined as an annex, but developed during implementation in the form of Joint Action Plans

More information

Related sections of VPA Unpacked

VPA outputs

External links

Cameroon-EU VPA text and annexes [Download PDF]

Central African Republic-EU VPA text and annexes [Download PDF]

Ghana-EU VPA text and annexes [Download PDF]

Indonesia-EU VPA text and annexes [Download PDF]

Liberia-EU VPA text and annexes [Download PDF]

Republic of the Congo-EU VPA text and annexes [Download PDF]

Bollen, A. and Ozinga, S. 2013. Improving Forest Governance. A Comparison of FLEGT VPAs and Their Impact. FERN. 50pp. [Download PDF]

 

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