The Timber Legality Assurance System (TLAS) is a core annex of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) and Laos and the European Union (EU) are currently negotiating this agreement. TLAS is a system ensuring that timber supply chain does not contain material from unknown or illegal sources and only legal timber products are entering the timber supply chains and sold on the domestic and international markets.
To ensure the system is operational in the implementation phase, both Laos and EU conducted a stepwise approach in developing and testing two key elements of the system, Verification of compliance and Licencing, in selected provinces of Vientiane capital, Khammouan and Attapeu provinces. The results from the testing point out some key issues and provided recommendations to ensure the further development of a robust TLAS. The key recommendation entails a better cooperation between implementers, the operators of the TLAS in aligning the legal frameworks for timber legality and by increasing the sharing of supply chain data with relevant authorities for improved compliance verification.
To officially inform the government of Laos and key stakeholders on the findings, a policy brief has been prepared and will be distributed to relevant stakeholders. The policy brief includes findings and key recommendations that have been documented during the piloting phase, aiming to inform the Lao government staff, decision-maker, and policy maker. Therefore, the policy brief was prepared to seek advice for further development of the system.
The policy brief in Lao and English versions can be reached by: Publications – Lao-EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade towards (flegtlaos.com).