Bisnis.com, JAKARTA – Indonesia has the potential to compete with a number of Southeast Asian countries in seizing the legal timber product market if the Timber Legality Verification System (SVLK) is not fully implemented in 2016.
Ida Bagus Putera Parthama, Director General of Sustainable Production Forest Management at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Ida Bagus, said that neighboring countries such as Malaysia, Vietnam and Myanmar were aware of the trend of increasing demand for certified wood in developed countries. These countries are also preparing for the implementation of a legal timber system such as Indonesia.
“If the SVLK is not enforced, this is the same as releasing the opportunity for us to become the first country to win the legal timber market, considering that these countries are in the process. If it is finished, it is precisely they who seize the world market, “he told Bisnis.com.
Putera said the timber legality system such as the SVLK was proven to be able to increase the competitiveness of Indonesian forestry products. The system is also a symbol of the state’s self-proof of being able to preserve forests sustainably.
Previously, Executive Director of the Indonesian Furniture and Handicraft Industry Association (Asmindo) Lisman Sumardjani revealed a number of neighboring furniture producers were worried about competition with Indonesia which has an SVLK.
“Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam panicked because with the SVLK, Indonesian products could freely enter. Therefore they have started processing too, “he said.
The Ministry of Trade plans to remove SVLK obligations for 15 classifications of furniture products (Harmonized System / HS Code). This was stated in the revised draft of the Minister of Trade Regulation No. 66/2015.
Meanwhile, the regulation to be amended is a substitute for the Minister of Trade Regulation No. 12/2014 concerning Provisions on the Export of Forestry Industry Products published on August 27 and removing the validity period of the Export Declaration (DE).
Permendag No. 12/2014 previously allowed Small and Medium Industry Registered Exporters of Forestry Industry Products (IKM-ETPIK) to use DE as a temporary substitute for V-Legal documents — as proof of having an SVLK. However, in the new DE beleid candidates and even the SVLK it is no longer mandatory for the 15 HS Code.
Muhammad Kosar, Forest Watch Indonesia (FWI) Campaigner, said that if the regulation was issued, Indonesia would cancel the SVLK adoption in full on January 1, 2016. SVLK was only a voluntary option for IKM actors.
“If indeed their buyers abroad require it, please take care of the certificate. If not, just go ahead, “he said.
Kosar was one of the representatives of non-governmental organizations who attended a consultation meeting between the Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK), Monday last week.
The meeting which also presented the furniture association was held at the request of KLHK which was disappointed with the issuance of Permendag 66/2015.
The day after the meeting, the Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya wrote to the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs to explain her institutional attitude to the planned issuance of the Ministry of Trade’s revision.
“We hope that the SVLK policy can be carried out consistently, including in the current deregulation process,” he said in a copy of the letter received by Bisnis.com.
According to Siti, the 15 HS Code is included in products that have been ratified by Indonesia and the European Union and Australia.
Revocation of the SVLK will threaten exports to the two regions and make it difficult for Indonesia to try to keep forests sustainably managed.