A timber legality assurance system is the most important component of a VPA because it assures that timber or timber products exported from a VPA partner country to the EU comply with national legislation.
It consists of:
– A definition of legally produced timber.
– A system to track timber products from point of harvest or import to point of export.
– A system to verify compliance with the definition and the tracking system.
– Licensing of exports to attest to their legality.
– Independent audit of all components.
By the end of 2017, the national Timber Legality Assurance System (TLAS) is piloted in three provinces; it includes opportunities for synergy with private legality and sustainability initiatives and it is included in the negotiating process.