The Independent Market Monitoring programme (IMM) has been relaunched and expanded to track market impacts of EU Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade Voluntary Partnership Agreements (FLEGT VPAs) with supplier countries.
The IMM is supervised by the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) and funded by the EU. Its role is to support implementation of VPAs, which commit signatory supplier countries to adopt third party verified timber legality assurance systems. When these are established to the satisfaction of EU and supplier country authorities, the latter can issue FLEGT licences for exports, which exempt them from further due diligence under the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR). So far, all VPA countries are tropical.
IMM Lead Consultant Sarah Storck and Market and Technical Analyst Rupert Oliver have established a European network of consultants who will liaise with the timber sector on the trade flow effects and EU market perceptions of VPAs and FLEGT licensing. The seven countries where the consultants are based, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, France and the Netherlands, represent 90% of EU tropical timber imports.
A consultant has also been appointed in Indonesia, which, late last year, was the first country to start FLEGT licensing.
First IMM outputs will include a Baseline Report, analysing VPA partner country timber production from 2004-2014, plus VPA partner trade flows to the EU and elsewhere during the period. This will also draw on initial market scoping studies covering Germany, Spain, the UK and VPA partner country Ghana undertaken in 2015/16. All IMM-related reports and data are currently available on the ITTO website.
An IMM website and newsletters are also under development.