The 2003 EU FLEGT Action Plan aimed at tackling illegal logging and the trade in associated products, recognising the EU as a consumer of timber from regions where levels of illegality and poor governance in the forest sector are serious. A cornerstone of this Plan is the negotiation and implementation of Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPA): bilateral agreements between the EU and timber product exporting partner countries to trade only in legal wood. The VPA contains a Legality Assurance System (LAS), a mechanism that allows a FLEGT partner country to verify that timber produced has complied with all prescribed regulations. A LAS is based on the national legislation stipulating the economic, environmental and social regulatory framework for forest management, processing of timber and trade in timber products.
The objective of this assignment was to assess the extent to which the first FLEGT VPA and Legality Assurance System (LAS) designs (in Ghana, Cameroon, R.O. Congo and Indonesia) would, when implemented, meet the requirements of existing and planned EU Member State procurement policies for relevant product groups, and further outline the relationship of LAS and procurement policies in general.