May 1, 2020

Indonesia’s timber legality system remains in force

JAKARTA ( - Indonesian Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya has confirmed that a series of meetings has taken place with relevant ministries in the wake of the recent issuance of a trade ministry regulation that negates the legal verification of forestry industry products for export requirement.

“We greatly welcome the agreement that the trade ministry regulation will be suspended and revisions will be made,” Minister Nurbaya explained in a written communication with (Apr 30).

The minister sent a letter (Apr 21) to President Joko Widodo assuring him, among other things, that SVLK (Sistem Verifikasi Legalitas Kayu/Timber Legality Assurance System) continues to be applied as a mandatory condition for exporting forestry industry products.

This would include, she continued, increased financing support from the state budget for the certification process for export-oriented, timber-based product MSMEs, of which nearly 1,900 have now been facilitated.

“In the series of inter-ministerial coordination meetings, it was also agreed that the process of revising the trade ministry regulation would involve the Environment and Forestry Ministry as well as the Foreign Ministry,” Minister Nurbaya pointed out.

The photos below show law enforcement actions taken by the Indonesian forestry authorities against illegal logging operations in Sumatra. Updates on the number of legal actions carried out by the ministry can be checked on this social media platform.

Letter to the EU

Minister Nurbaya also said that the Trade Ministry will write a letter imminently to the EU to inform them about the suspension and revision of its recent regulation. 

“This includes asking the EU not to activate the policy on restricting the import of Indonesian processed timber products because SVLK is still in force, as in the previous regulations,” she explained.

“The revision process for the trade ministry regulation, which is set to involve relevant ministries and other relevant stakeholders, will also be carried out immediately,” she added. 

She also confirmed that despite the COVID-19 situation, the revision process would continue and hopefully be completed as quickly as possible.

The minister was also keen to express her deep appreciation to all the ministers and deputy ministers concerned for their great cooperation in the trade ministry regulation revision process, which has gone very well.

“The main thing is Indonesia still wants to maintain SVLK as one of our major investments for the long-term interests of sustainable forestry businesses, especially MSMEs, as well as for the benefit of Indonesia's forests,” Minister Nurbaya asserted.