Indonesia’s timber certification leads to 114% increase in EU sales

Indonesia booked a 114 per cent increase in sales of timber product exports to the European Union during the first quarter of the year, following the introduction of a self-made certification system to help the country comply with international regulations.

The country’s exports of timber products, especially furniture, to the European Union reached $416 million from January through March, up from $193.9 million in the same period of last year, according to Bachrul Chairi, the director general for foreign trade at Indonesia’s Ministry of Trade.

Bachrul said the jump was attributed to the implementation of the Wood Legality Verification System (SVLK), which had been drafted by Indonesian forestry stakeholders and took effect in March.

SVLK is meant to help Indonesia comply with the EU Timber Regulation, which also came into force in March and prohibits illegally-harvested timber and derivative products from entering the EU market.

“China remains the biggest exporter [of timber and timber products] to the EU, while Indonesia ranks sixth. We’re trying to race with the SVLK,” Bachrul said on the sidelines of his visit to a furniture industry hub in the Central Java town of Jepara, according to Indonesian news portal bisnis.com.

Indonesia’s furniture exports to the United States, meanwhile, reached $177 million in the first quarter, a 7.8 per cent increase from the same period of 2012. Exports to Japan, on the other hand, dropped 18 per cent to $69.2 million.

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