Report: Vietnam implements VPA-FLEGT - Development of legal framework for "legal timber" bidding
By: Center for WTO and International Trade - VCCI
VPA-FLEGT Agreement between Vietnam and the European Union (EU) was signed on October 19, 2018, valid from June 1, 2019. By joining this Agreement, the Government has shown great determination in implementing forest governance as well as developing the wood processing industry in a sustainable way. Although the Agreement was signed with EU partners only, the Government has made a strong commitment under which all timber and timber products, whether exported (to the EU or any other territory/country) or consumed in the domestic market, must be legal timber.
On the domestic market, a substantial portion of timber and timber products are procured and used by state actors in accordance with bidding procedures. In this role, in order to enforce the commitment to legal timber under the VPA-FLEGT, the State is responsible for ensuring that the timber and timber products procured under the tender procedure are legal timber. This raises the need for legal timber and timber products specific regulations and criteria in the procurement process for timber and processed timber products.
In the implementation plan of the VPA-FLEGT Agreement issued together with the Prime Minister's Decision No. 1624 / QD-TTg dated November 14, 2019, the task of reviewing and completing legal documents on purchasing public procurement related to timber and timber products has been put in place.
The development of specific guidelines on bidding procedures for a specific product group is new in Vietnam (so far, there are only separate guidelines on bidding procedures for medical products). In the world, the experience of countries in legal timber procurement procedures is also relatively diverse, with relatively different modes and levels of legal timber security, consistent with the current policies of each country on this issue.
To assist competent authorities in reviewing, researching and developing documents on public procurement of timber and processed timber products (hereinafter referred to as “timber products”) to ensure compliance with the VPA -FLEGT on legal timber, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Center for WTO and International Trade) carried out a study on the legal framework to ensure legal timber in timber procurement in Vietnam. Based on the analysis of VPA-FLEGT's requirements on legal timber, reviewing the general bidding legal framework of Vietnam, synthesizing and evaluating international experience in policies to ensure legal timber in procurement. The report recommends a unified legal framework to ensure timber legality in the timber product procurement process in Vietnam. It is hoped that the Report will be a useful reference for drafting and appraisal agencies, organizations and individuals participating in the drafting process of legal timber legislation in product procurement and implementing the VPA-FLEGT Agreement at the request of the Prime Minister.
The Report (Vietnamease) is attached below: