The legality definition is central to a country’s timber legality assurance system. Timber and timber products must comply with this definition in order to receive FLEGT licences. Although all VPAs have an annex on the legality assurance system, some countries put the legality definition in a separate annex.
The legality definition emerges from a multi-stakeholder consultation early in the VPA process. As stakeholders have different interests, conflicts in a country’s forest sector often come to the fore during this early consultation. The government of a timber-exporting country has the responsibility to foster the dialogue and build consensus among stakeholders in order for multi-stakeholder consultations to clearly articulate: