What is the INDO-TLAS/SVLK?
Indonesia has the largest natural forest area, about 80 million hectares, in Asia and the third largest in the tropics. Nowadays, Indonesia is a leading producer of many forest products such as plywood, furniture, pulp and paper, mouldings, windows, etc.
The Indonesian Timber Legality Assurance System (INDO-TLAS)/Sistem Verifikasi Legalitas Kayu (SVLK) is an Indonesian scheme to assure the international timber market of the legality of its timber products. This implementation will help Indonesia to meet growing demand for legal timber. It is also expected to enhance the competitive advantage of the country’s timber products in the wider international market and form part of its contribution to global environmental sustainability.
The new timber legality framework replaces Indonesia’s previous BRIK system. INDO-TLAS will improve governance of Indonesia’s forestry business through effective administration and management thereby reducing illegal logging and illegal trading. INDO-TLAS has been developed in response to increasingly rigorous timber legislation in key markets, including EU Timber Regulation No. 995/2010 (effective since March 3, 2013), Australia’s Illegal Logging Prohibition Bill, the US Lacey Act and Japan’s Goho Wood system.
Enforcement of INDO-TLAS/SVLK
Since January 1, 2013, the Ministry of Forestry and Ministry of Trade of the Republic of Indonesia has enforced and imposed INDO-TLAS/SVLK. It is based on a certification approach also known as ‘operator-based licensing’. To achieve certification, Conformity Assessment Bodies must audit the legality of the operations of timber producers, timber traders, processors and exporters.
The Ministry of Trade of the Republic of Indonesia issued Regulation No. 64/M-DAG/PER/10/2012 on October 22, 2012, on Forestry Product Export Regulation, to support INDO-TLAS/SVLK. This regulation classifies forest products into two categories: Group A and Group B. Each category has a different mandatory date for achieving INDO-TLAS/SVLK certification:
Group A: plywood, sawmill, chip wood, LVL and veneer. This group category will have INDO- TLAS/SVLK certification before January 1, 2013
Group B: furniture, woodworking, pulp and paper. This group category will have INDO-TLAS/SVLK certification before January 1, 2014
After then, if any company or industry that exports its product will have to pass through the legality verification process in order to obtain “V-LEGAL” documents. If a company or industry has not been verified for its legality, then an inspection will need to be done by a Conformity Assessment Body (CAB).