Problems and solutions regarding FLEGT licences
24 January 2018
Since implementation of the FLEGT treaty in November 2016, all timber products imported from Indonesia must have a FLEGT licence. This is still causing many problems. As it happens, this licence, which is prepared by exporters, often contains incorrect commodity codes. As a result, no import declaration can be created. This is often still resolved by the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) at present, but that will change soon. Importers will have full responsibility for the accuracy of FLEGT licences and will be held to account by the NVWA.
Commodity codes often incorrect on FLEGT licences
The FLEGT treaty came into being to counter the illegal logging and timber trade. To show that the timber (used in the product) was felled legally, every wood type exported from Indonesia must have a so-called FLEGT licence. The commodity code belonging to the product is also recorded on this licence. This is where the problem arises. As it happens, interpretation of the commodity code for the product varies worldwide.
Randy, Customs Declarant for Ritra Cargo: “Commodity code 4414 is often used on FLEGT licences for mirrors: wooden frames for paintings, photos, mirrors, and suchlike. This commodity code applies only to the frame and not to the whole mirror. It is therefore incorrect. Commodity code 7009 applies to mirror products: glass mirrors, including those that are framed.”
Despite the fact the FLEGT treaty has been in force for some time, incorrect commodity codes unfortunately still appear on FLEGT licences often. This creates problems with preparation of the import declaration for customs. The NVWA, to which the FLEGT licence must be reported, has been accommodating in correcting commodity codes until now. The correct import declaration could therefore still be produced. However, the NVWA will soon stop this and responsibility for correct FLEGT licences will then rest wholly with importers.
Ritra Cargo advises importers of commodity codes
Are you importing a type of product from Indonesia that requires a FLEGT licence? Then inform your contact person at Ritra Cargo as soon as possible. Our declarations department will then provide these products with a commodity code, which you can pass on to your exporter in Indonesia. That way, the correct FLEGT licence can be produced. This prevents problems with the import declaration, as well as potential delays of shipments and sanctions by customs and the NVWA.
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