Seven pillars of FLEGT

This section explains the EU FLEGT Action Plan’s seven broad elements, which are listed below. It describes progress and provides case studies and reporting tips. Among the topics covered are the EU Timber Regulation and Voluntary Partnership Agreements between the EU and timber exporting countries outside the EU.



Support to private-sector initiatives


FLEGT encourages private sector companies to ensure their supply chains, from tree to market, are free of illegalities. To support this, the European Commission is providing technical and financial assistance to private sector actions. Such actions undertaken by the European Timber Trade Federation and its members have included:

  • Partnering in the Timber Trade Action Plan to help companies verify legality in their supply chains.
  • Adopting voluntary codes of conduct and certification schemes
  • Developing due diligence systems for EU Timber Regulation compliance
  • Monitoring impacts of the EU Timber Regulation
  • Being part of the European Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition

Federation members have also taken action in their supply chains, such as:

  • Analysing legality gaps in important supply chains
  • Imposing EU Timber Regulation requirements on suppliers
  • Supporting capacity building initiatives, such as those for small and medium sized enterprises in Africa


Reporting tips

The European Timber Trade Federation and its members can provide information about what progressive companies are doing to combat illegal logging and how the EU is helping them.

This Rainforest Alliance guide is useful for learning about private sector driven initiatives to audit, monitor, verify or certify legal forest products.

TFT’s “Guide to Legality: Practical advice for timber producers, processors and exporters” addresses what companies need to do in order to sell their legally harvested products to the US, EU and Australia. It provides practical advice and contains a section each for timber producers, processors and exporters. This is a handy tool for journalists covering the business of timber.

Another handy guide, this time from the WWF, is an example of FLEGT support for exporting countries in Africa.  “A Guide for the Timber Exporter and Importer from Ghana and Liberia” is intended to help companies “remove timber of questionable sources from their supply chains.” 

Credit: EU FLEGT Facility

Read the story on how legal timber trade with EU can be big business for small companies in Cameroon


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