European Parliament ratifies Voluntary Partnership Agreement with Indonesia
On 27 February 2014 the European Parliament gave its consent for the conclusion by the Council of the EU of the VPA with Indonesia. The next step will be the official ratification of the agreement by the Council on behalf of the EU. Ratification by Indonesia and the EU is the final step to make the bilateral treaty legally binding. In Indonesia the Office of the President is preparing for ratification by the national legislature.
Once both sides have ratified the agreement, it brings Indonesia and the EU one step closer to issuing FLEGT-licensed timber, which will take place when both parties assess that Indonesia's timber legality assurance system meets the requirements set out in the VPA. Indonesia's timber legality assurance system is called Sistem Verifikasi Legalitas Kayu (SVLK) in Indonesian.
To advance VPA implementation, Indonesia and the EU agreed on an action plan in November 2013. The plan is based on the results of the independent assessment of the SVLK conducted in 2013. The next independent assessment will take place in the second half of 2014, after the first meeting of the joint implementation committee which oversees VPA implementation.