All Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) share common elements. The details of each agreement, however, are unique to the national context of each partner country, as they are based on national laws and the priorities of national stakeholders.
The outputs of each agreement include:
- A timber legality assurance system
- Frameworks for monitoring and evaluating implementation
- Commitments to improve transparency and other aspects of forest governance
The text of a VPA, which is in two sections, the main text and the annexes, describes these outputs. The main text of a VPA outlines the basic principles and structures, and varies little between VPAs. The annexes vary between VPAs because they provide country-specific detail on issues such as:
- The legal requirements the partner country will monitor and ensure compliance with under the VPA
- The procedures for verifying legality, tracing timber and issuing FLEGT licences
- The documents and data the country will make accessible to the public
Deliberations among stakeholders in a timber-exporting country determine the ambition and content of a VPA. These deliberations help the government of a VPA partner country determine the scope of products a VPA will cover, whether or not to include domestic markets, and the extent of legal and governance reforms.
A VPA that includes legal reforms and domestic market measures provides a strong signal that the partner country's government is prepared to address fundamental governance challenges that result in illegal logging comprehensively.