Myanmar exporters to the EU are reporting that they are being asked to provide more and more documents to mitigate the risk of illegal timber entering the supply chain.
Exporters complain that they have been asked to provide all the documents described in a dossier compiled by the FLEGT Technical Advisor to the Forest Department.
This dossier, it is understood, illustrates to importers how records are kept along the entire supply chain from harvest to port of exit. The intention behind the dossier was to explain what documents are produced throughout the supply chain.
Barber Cho, Secretary of Myanmar Forest Certification Committee, explained that the purpose of the dossier is being misunderstood by EU Competent Authorities as it was not the intention that records of each step in the supply chain would be submitted to exporters. Cho pointed out that some of the documents mentioned are in support of credible traceability.
In related news, according to the Myanmar Timber Merchants Association, a 10-member delegation will visit Brussels this month to explain the current traceability and legality compliance system in Myanmar.
According to U Myo Min, the advisor to the association and a delegation member, the delegation will explain that the national traceability procedure consists 30 steps.
The delegation will comprise officials from Forest Department, Myanmar Timber Merchants Association, the FLEGT Technical Advisor and representatives from the private sector and civil society organisations.