Vietnamese timber and wood product exporters will have to develop an elaborate system to ensure the legality of materials used to avoid the risk of losing their footholds in key markets like the US and the EU

For instance, they would need to show they have procured wood from areas with approved forest management plans and appropriate cutting permits.

They would also need to ensure they are excluding illegal and other unwanted wood both at the forest where materials are acquired as well as at processing and manufacturing facilities.

These steps become necessary as the EU and US markets are set to toughen up import restrictions through the European Union Timber Regulation and the United States Lacey Act, a workshop held in HCM City heard yesterday.

The workshop presented participants with the salient features of the two pieces of legislation as well as with practical steps that would help reduce the business risk of illegal materials entering the supply chains.

The Forest Trust (TFT) and the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCM City (Hawa) organised the workshop with support from the United States Responsible Asia Forestry and Trade (RAFT) programme under USAID.

The organisers said the steps outlined at the workshop would help local exporters gain market credibility.

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