Vietnam striving to enhance transparency in wood sector hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam is working hard to complete its legal corridor and tighten the examination and supervision of imported wood materials to ensure transparency in the wood sector and meet the strict origin rules in foreign markets.

Though exports of Vietnam’s wood and furniture products have seen strong growth since the beginning of US-China trade tensions, the country has also faced major pressure in the US.

Tran Le Huy, Vice Chairman and General Secretary of the Forest Product Association of Binh Dinh province, said the trade tensions have brought about new challenges for Vietnam, especially relating to fraud in origin due to Chinese companies exporting wood products to Vietnam for local labelling before shipping to the US.

The prevention and settlement of trade fraud in an effective and timely manner is therefore vital for Vietnam’s wood sector, Huy stressed.

Meanwhile, Do Xuan Lap, Chairman of the Vietnam Timber and Forest Product Association, said it has proposed that ministries and sectors direct specialised agencies to conduct snap inspections of enterprises suspected of fraud.

Huy suggested that a connection channel be set up between wood associations and management agencies to report signs of fraud, so that timely intervention can be made.

Such measures would not only prevent fraud in exports to the US but also enhance the transparency and prestige of Vietnam’s wooden products in markets like the EU, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, he said.

As part of efforts to control the origin of raw materials for export, Vietnam issued Decree No 102/2020-ND-CP detailing regulations on the timber legality assurance system.

Each year, Vietnam imports 2-2.5 million cubic metres of wood from Africa, certain countries in South America, and Laos, Cambodia, and Papua New Guinea, which is equal to 40-50 percent of its total imported logs and sawnwood.

To Xuan Phuc from Forest Trend said it is necessary to apply policies and practical measures to reduce the risks in importing wood materials.

Bui Chinh Nghia, Vice Director of the Vietnam Administration of Forestry, said that along with the application of the timber legality assurance system, businesses should also design their own risk-reduction solutions.

In order to implement Decree No 102, the Vietnam Timber and Forest Product Association proposed that ministries and sectors direct relevant agencies to require wood material importers, apart from strictly declaring information in line with regulations, to provide supplementary documents such as the exploitation licences of the producers or the operational registration of wood processing facilities, the export licences of exporters, and certificates of origin.

According to representatives from wood processing firms, the majority of importers of Vietnamese furniture request that raw materials come from planted forests and licensed sources. Therefore, in the future, Vietnam should strive to have 100 percent of input materials licensed, they said./.