Workshop discusses control of risks in tropical timber imports

Easing the associated risks in the importation of tropical timber would help Vietnam maintain its wood exports while expanding the market, a recent workshop heard.

Do Xuan Lap, President of the Association of Vietnam Timber and Forest Products, said Vietnam imports tropical timber from Africa, certain South American countries, Laos, Cambodia, and Papua New Guinea.

Resolution No 102/2020-ND-CP on the legality of timber notes the high risk of such timber, as it is imported from areas where illegal deforestation is common, he said.

It therefore requires that importers present paperwork proving the timber’s legality as well as measures to ease the risks.

According to To Xuan Phuc from the Forest Trends organisation, reducing risks regarding the legality of imported tropical timber is significant for Vietnam’s wood industry.

The work must be done in both policy and reality, he said, stressing the need to tighten the management of the import of high-risk timber in line with the resolution, he said.

Dao Duy Tam from the General Department of Vietnam Customs said it will coordinate with relevant ministries and agencies to prevent trade fraud and facilitate the operation of businesses, especially forestry product exporters.

Lap said revenue from timber and wood products grew 20% in the first quarter of this year, adding that if the pace is maintained, the target of US$14-14.5 billion in export value set by the Government for this year is achievable.