Indonesia is the first, and currently, only, country in the world with an operational Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) licensing scheme. This means that the Government of Indonesia has made significant efforts to develop a mandatory national system to track and verify legality and control illegal timber, called the Sistem Verifikasi Legalitas Kayu (SVLK), which was established in 2009. Indonesia began issuing FLEGT licenses on 15 November 2016. The SVLK covers 99 percent of the total concession area as of 2019.
While Indonesia has put in place a national system to track and verify legality and control illegal timber imported into the country, corruption in Indonesia across the board, particularly at the local level, remains an issue that can undermine the system. Some early challenges should be expected given that this is a new system and the first such FLEGT licensing scheme operating globally.
In Europe, the SVLK has been recognized as meeting the standards set by the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) since November 2016 and EU and UK importers are no longer required to conduct due diligence checks on timber from Indonesia. While SVLK / FLEGT licensing denotes complete compliance with the EUTR for European importers, a FLEGT licence may not in and of itself guarantee compliance with timber import regulations in other jurisdictions, such as the U.S. Lacey Act in the United States.