TEMPO.CO, Surabaya: The Ministry of Environment and Forestry is disappointed that the Ministry of Trade was not involved in the revision of Minister of Trade Regulation No. 66 of 2015 concerning Provisions on the Export of Forestry Industry Products. “The Ministry of Trade has never coordinated with us,” said Minister of Environment and Forestry Minister of Natural Resources Expert Staff Agus Justianto, Thursday, October 15, 2015.

Agus stated this in the Media Workshop for the Timber Legality Verification System (SVLK) held by AJI Surabaya and WWF. In the revised draft of Permendag 66, the Ministry of Trade does not require wood-based small and medium industries to have timber legality certificates. When it comes to exports, SMIs only need to make a self declaration (export declaration) that the wood comes from sustainable forests, aka legal.

Even though according to Permendag 97/2014, the DE mechanism will only be implemented until 31 December 2015. Next, as of 1 January 2016 all timber IKMs that are exported must have a Timber Legality Certificate. The Minister of Trade Regulation 97, said Agus, was an agreement of 3 Ministers namely Minister of LHK, Minister of Industry and Minister of Trade. The Export Declaration is a transitional policy for SMIs that have not been certified as timber legality as export documents that are valid from 1 January to 31 December 2015.

Agus explained, changing the SVLK policy would make Indonesia considered inconsistent. Because Indonesia has agreed with the European Union to implement the SVLK.

The impact, said Agus, is that Indonesian timber IKM products will not be accepted by Europe. Even though Europe has become the largest market for furniture and woodcraft exports, which is around 40 percent. “The Ministry of Trade only liberalizes trade, but doesn’t care about forest sustainability.”

The Communication Advisor for the Indonesian Furniture and Handicraft Industry Association (Asmindo), Robert Wijaya, said that Asmindo fully supports the implementation of SVLK for timber IKM. SVLK, makes IKMs take responsibility for forest sustainability and orderly makes business legality.

If the SVLK is removed, Robert is worried that the buyer’s trust will decline. “Forests in Indonesia are also increasingly depleted due to illegal logging,” he said.

In 2014, said Robert, furniture products had provided state divisions of US $ 2.6 billion, with details of US $ 1.8 billion from furniture and US $ 800 million in handicraft products.

source: bisnis.tempo.co