Voluntary partnership agreement (VPA) process

Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) are a central element of the European Union's strategy in the fight against illegal logging. A VPA is a bilateral trade agreement between the EU and a timber-exporting country outside the EU, which aims to guarantee that any wood exported from a timber-producing country to the EU comes from legal sources, and help the partner country stop illegal logging by improving forest governance and regulation.

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Timber trade and due diligence

The EU FLEGT Facility provides a website containing extensive information on Voluntary Partnership Agreements, the voluntary bilateral trade agreements between the European Union (EU) and timber-exporting countries outside the EU established to fight against illegal logging.

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Forest products and legality

The Risk Tool, hosted by WRI, provides an overview of relevant legislations and regulations, information about most commonly traded species, in order to help users ask informed questions about where their forest products come from and what issues a buyer might encounter. Information about forest products and legality is presented by country and by species.

Users can search by country to find information about relevant laws and local contacts who might be able to help answer more questions. Users can also search by species to see where a particular type of tree grows, what it might be called in other languages, what it’s commonly used for, whether it’s endangered, and specific restrictions under national or international laws and regulations.

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Practicing due care and due diligence: What tools are out there?

In recent years, many tools have surfaced to help the private sector assess their risk and practice due care and due diligence when sourcing wood and wood products. Below you will find information on the other tools available. For more information on how to differentiate these tools, their scope and their focus, take a look at our joint flyer: Practicing Due Care and Due Diligence: What tools are out there?

SPOTT – Sustainability Policy Transparency Toolkit

SPOTT is a free online platform supporting sustainable production and trade. SPOTT scores tropical forestry and palm oil companies annually against over 130 environmental, social and governance (ESG) indicators to benchmark their progress over time. SPOTT currently assesses 100 timber and pulp producers and traders – all of whom have significant operations in highly biodiverse and threatened tropical landscapes across the globe – on the public disclosure of their policies, operations and levels of progress. Issues covered by the assessments include biodiversity conservation, greenhouse gas emissions, land conflicts, and labor rights among others. 

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Timber Trade Portal

The online timber trade portal serves as a central point where visitors can find information on the industry and legislation of timber-producing countries, which are mainly located in tropical areas. All published profiles have undergone expert review and are frequently updated. The platform enables operators to make their own risk analysis and exercise due diligence, on a case-by-case basis, by presenting facts such as forestry sector data, legislative frameworks, laws and regulations, key documents, bans and quotas, CITES information, VPA processes, certification, contacts, and more. The platform presents 23 country profiles, mainly located in tropical areas like Africa, Asia and Latin America.

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NEPCon Sourcing Hub

The NEPCon Sourcing Hub, the largest and most-detailed collection of forest-related risk assessments ever published. The Sourcing Hub helps companies meet due diligence requirements of market regulation such as the Lacey Act, EUTR, and the Australian Illegal Logging Prohibition Act by providing a complete due diligence system, as well as many risk assessments and tools to support the implementation of a due diligence system. The tool also helps governments, the financial sector, and NGOs understand the risks related to sourcing timber from around the world. The Sourcing Hub contains 62 timber legality risk assessments, covering approx. 87% of global timber production.

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Responsible Timber Exchange & Due Diligence and Risk Assessment

BVRio’s Responsible Timber Exchange is an online negotiations platform for sourcing legal and certified timber products from all over the world. Integrated into the platform is a Due Diligence and Risk Assessment (DDRA) system to help buyers evaluate the supply chain of a timber consignment or verify FSC® and PEFC licenses. The system uses a big data approach, centralizing and analyzing information on legality, supply chain inconsistencies, and social aspects such as labor abuses. The Responsible Timber Exchange is a global platform. The DDRA is for timber products from Brazil.

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