Seminar looks into accountability, legal assurance in timber import control hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Accountability and legal assurance in timber import control was the main focus of a workshop that began in Hanoi on August 29 as part of the building of a decree on the Vietnam Timber Legal Assurance System (VNTLAS).

The two-day workshop was co-organised by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST), in the framework of a project supporting the implementation of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (VPA FLEGT) in Vietnam, Laos and Cameroon.

VNFOREST Director General Nguyen Quoc Tri said the workshop provided a platform for State agencies, foreign experts, the wood industry, research institutes and social organisations to share experience and lessons in preparation for the building and implementation of the VNTLAS in line with Vietnam’s commitments in the Vietnam-EU VPA FLEGT, which was signed in 2018 and took effect on June 1 this year.

The decree on VNTLAS, scheduled to be issued at the end of this year, will guide the implementation of a number of articles of the VPA FLEGT and the 2017 Forestry Law.

Representatives from relevant agencies in Europe and the US will share experience in enforcing regulations on legal timber and import control, serving discussions on specific issues and solutions to improve the accountability and legal assurance in reality.   

According to statistics of the General Department of Vietnam Customs, the customs sector uncovered 48 cases of violations of rules on timber import-export, seizing nearly 90 tonnes of precious timber since the beginning of 2018 to now. The sector has imposed administrative fines in 30 cases, started criminal proceedings in one case and transferred five cases to other competent agencies, and is investigating 12 cases.

The customs sector is also participating in the building of the decree. -VNA