Timber Legality Assurance System (SVLK)

About the SVLK

Timber Legality Assurance System (SVLK) serves to ensure timber products and raw materials obtained or derived from sources that its origins and management meet the legal aspects. Timber is considered to be legal when its origin, logging permit, logging systems and procedures, transport, processing, and trade can be proven to meet all applicable legal requirements. SVLK has been developed jointly by a number of parties (stakeholders). SVLK bears the standards, criteria, indicators, verifiers, verification methods, and assessment norms that the stakeholders come to agree.

The Government of Indonesia implements the SVLK to ensure that all timber products traded in Indonesia have convincingly achieved legal status. With the SVLK, consumers abroad no longer need to be doubted about the legality of timber from Indonesia. With the SVLK, farmers of community forests and indigenous forests are able to raise the bargaining power and no need to worry about the legality of their timber during transported. The furniture manufacturers are sure of the legality of the resources of the raw material to make easier for them to convince the buyers abroad. Indonesia takes gradual steps in adopting the SVLK. This is the first step in ensuring certificate of legality before heading to the certified sustainable forest management (sustainability).

The SVLK enactment itself is to provide legal certainty for Indonesian timber products on the global market. This effort is expected to help improve the competitiveness of Indonesian timber products, reduce illegal logging and illegal trade. Moreover, the SVLK also implies a serious commitment and consistent effort to improve forest governance in Indonesia. The SVLK comprises improved principles of better governance, the representativeness of the parties in the development and monitoring system, and transparency system. SVLK is an effort with soft approach to improve governance over the rampant illegal logging and timber trade.

SVLK complements the efforts of law enforcement (hard approach) that the Government has been adopted. Improvement through soft approach on administrative and logging management are improved with all parties and has credibility in its implementation. SVLK is also developed amidst the world’s trends in the legal timber trade. Governments in some importer countries apply regulations to assure the legality of timber products on trade, including those from imports, in each country. For example, the Government of the United States applies the Lacey Act, the European Union (EU) with the Timber Regulation, Australia with the Illegal Logging Prohibition Act, and Japan with Green Konyuho (Wood Goho).

The SVLK began into force in June 2009 when the Government of Indonesia issued the Regulation of the Minister of Forestry No. P.38/Menhut-II/2009 . It occurred when once the Minister of Forestry, MS Kaban, approved and adopted stakeholders proposal to become mandatory Standards and Guidelines for Performance Assessment of Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) and the Timber Legality Assurance (VLK). On its progress, the SVLK has been improved with the issuance of revised Regulation of the Minister of Forestry No. P.38/Menhut-II/2009 as Regulation of the Minister of Forestry No. P.68/Menhut-II/2011 and add revised by Regulation of the Minister of Forestry No. P.45/Menhut-II/2012 also Regulation of the Minister of Forestry No. P.42/Menhut-II/2013 . Demands over timber legality are not a new issue. The SVLK presents as a mandatory system for ensuring the compliance of all regulations relating to the timber distribution and trade in Indonesia. Export permits for timber products require V-Legal Documents (Verified Legal), as also required by the Regulation of the Minister of Trade (Regulation) 64/2012 .

SVLK Scope

All timber from state’s owned forests or private forests is obliged to adopt verification of legality. This procedure is to guarantee that the timber is originated from legal sources. Similarly, in the industry (primary and secondary), the timber for material and the end-products have also to undergo such verification of legality. Timber products for export require V-Legal Document. This document aims to ensure that the raw materials used to make the products come from legal sources. Exporters, in collaboration with the agency that issued the certification verifying the legality of timber, should obtain V-Legal Document. They can fill in the application forms that they can download via the internet on the website of Information Systems Management Unit in the Ministry of Forestry.

Process of SVLK examination includes tracking the validity of the timber origin right from the very beginning to end products. It starts from the examination of utilization license, markings of identity documents accompanying the timber from the logging, transportation from the forest to timber production, packing and shipping process. SVLK effectively applies in all types of forest management in Indonesia: the production of natural forests, planted forests, community forests, and indigenous forest. It is either based on management unit or not (timber permit holders).

SVLK legality standards apply in:

  • State forests managed by national state-owned companies (BUMN), local government-owned companies (BUMD), and private, including IUPHHK holders of natural forests and plantation forests.
  • State forests managed by communities, including: community forestry (HKm), forest villages, indigenous forests, smallholder plantations (HTR).
  • State forests which are not management unit-based, including the holders of timber utilization permits.
  • Forests rights / community forest / private forest and non-forest areas.

What and How SVLK

Whats is the SVLK?

Timber Legality Assurance System (SVLK) is a tracking system whose development was made by involving multi-stakeholders to assure the legality of sources from which timber being traded in Indonesia originates.

SVLK is also meant to encourage the implementation of the existing Government’s regulations related to trade and availability of legal timber in Indonesia.

Why the SVLK?

SVLK is developed and applied in Indonesia to assure that all timber products which are available and traded in Indonesia have convincing legality status. Consumers abroad also need not to be doubtful about the legality of timber from Indonesia. At the same time, forest management units need not to be worried about the legality of timber that they produce. With the SVLK in place, timber-based industries are convinced about the legality of the timber sources  so it will be easier for them to assure the consumers abroad.

On what ground the SVLK is applied?

The SVLK springs from the Government’s commitment to fight illegal logging and illegal timber trade. Good forest governance toward sustainable forest management (SFM). Demands for timber legality guarantee in the form of ncertification from international market, particularly from the European Union, the United States, and Australia. The SVLK is a “national incentive” in anticipating the incresing demands for timber legality certification schemes from aborad, such as FSC and PEFC.

What advantages the SVLK brings?

  • The SVLK helps develop an efficient and fair legality assurance tool as a part of efforts in curbing the illegal logging.
  • The SVLK provides assurance to the market in the EU, USA, Australia, and other countries about the legality of timber and timber products all of which originate from legal sources.
  • The SVLK improves governance of forest timber effectively.
  • The SVLK is the only system in Indonesia in assuring timber legality.
  • The SVLK helps shred high cost economy.
  • The SVLK provides opportunity to skip due diligence which poses high cost economy.

What does the SVLK aim at?

  • To develop a credible, efficient, and fair legality assurance tool as a part of efforts in finding a solition over problem of illegalvlogging.
  • To improve forest governance in Indonesia and to enhance competitiveness of Indonesia’s timber products.
  • To deter illegal logging and illegal timber trading.
  • To elevate community’s welfare.

What are the SVLK‘s principles?

  1. A good forest governance.
  2. Representative.
  3. Transparency and credibility.

When did the SVLK begin effective?

The SVLK began in effect since 1 September 2009.

Who are the key players in the SVLK?

  1. The Ministry of Forestry that plays its part in producing regulations, development functions, legalizing the LP-PHPL or LV-LK, VLK information management unit.
  2. National Accreditation Committee, accrediting the LP-PHPL and LV-LK.
  3. LP-PHPL & LV-LK, monitoring the PHPL performance and/or making timber legality assurance based on systems and standards that the Government stipulates.
  4. Auditee (Managemen Unit), over concession holders or people’s forests that are subject to necessity to obtain PHPL Certificate (S-PHPL) or Timber Legality Certificate (S-LK).
  5. Independent Monitoring, civil communities either individual or legal organisation in Indonesia, with monitoring functions over forestry-related public services such as S-PHPL/S-LK.

What legal standings does the SVLK have?

  1. Law No.41 in 1999 on Forestry.
  2. Government Regulation No. 6 in 2007 jo. No.3 in 2008 on Forest Governance and Establishment of Forest Management Plans, and Forest Utilities.
  3. Minister of Foerstry’s Regulation No. 38/Menhut-II/2009 junto Permenhut P.68/Menhut-II/2011 junto Permenhut P.45/Menhut-II/2012, junto Permenhut P.42 /Menhut-II/2013 on Standards Guides to Assessment of Performance of Sustainable Production Forest and Timber Legality Assurance in Concession Holders or in People’s Forests.
  4. Regulation of Director general of Forestry Production Development No.P.8/VI-BPPHH/2012 on Guides to Assessment Implementation of Performence of Production Forest and Timber Legality Assurance.

Who should adopt the VLK?

  1. Concession holders of Timber Forest Utility (IUPHHK) in Natural Forests (HA/ Industry Plantation Forests (HTI), Ecological Rehabilitation (RE).
  2. Community forests, village forests, community plantation forests.
  3. Owners of community forests (people’s forests)
  4. Concession holders of Timber Utility (IPK)
  5. Concession Holders of Forest Primary Industry Enterprise (IUIPHHK) and Continued Industry (IUI Lanjutan) and Tanda Daftar Industri (TDI)

What is legal timber?

Timber is regarded legal its origin, harvesting permit, harvesting sistem and procedures, administration and transport documentation, processing, and trading or transfeering can be proved and completely comply with the existing regulations.

Who can perform the SVLK audit?

The SVLK audit is performed by Certification Body which has been certified by National Accreditation Committee (KAN), and with stipulation of Minister of Forestry’s Decree to be a Timber Legality Assurance Body (LV-LK)

Legality Standards of SVLK

In accordance with Regulation by Director General of Forestry Production Development Number P.8/VI-BPPHH/2012 on Standards and Guides to Assessment of Performance of Sustainable Production Forest Management and Timber Legality Assurance, the SVLK has eight timber legality standards, namely:

1.  Timber legality assurance standards in state forests managed by concession holders and management permit holders

2.  Timber legality assurance standards in state forests managed by community (HTR, HKm, HD)

3.  Timber legality assurance standards in people’s forests

4.  Timber legality assurance standards Timber legality assurance standards in IPK holders

5.  Timber legality assurance standards in IUIPHHK and IUI holders

6.  Timber legality assurance standards in TDI (Tanda Daftar Industri)

7.  Timber legality assurance standards home industry and artisans

8.  Timber legality assurance standards in TPT

Mandatory of voluntary?

SVLK is mandatorily adopted to improve efficiency of forest management and to maintain crediblity of Indonesia’s timber legality. In accordance with Ministry of Trade’s Regulation No 64 in 2012 that there 40 timber-based products and 16 of which since 1 January 2013 were obliged to obtain the SVLK Certificate, while the other 14 must follow suit by 1 Januari 2012. For management units which have obtained Chain of Custody/CoC, the SVLK Certificate remains mandatory.

What should be done in the SVLK implementation?

Activities in the SVLK implementation:

–  Verification proposal

–  Verification planning

–  Verrification implementation

–  Issuance of legality certificate and re-certification:

–  Inspection

–  Special Audit

How long a legality certificate is valid?

  • VLK Certificate for holders of IUPHHK-HA/HT/RE/ management concesion holders, IUPHHK-HTR/HKM/HD/HTHR/IPK, IUIPHHK, IUI with investment over IDR 500,000,000 excluding land and buildings, and TPT is valid for three years since the date of its issuance and must perform a surveilance at least once in every 12 months.
  • LK Certificate for IUI with investment up to IDR 500,000,000 excluding land and buildings, TDI, and home indusry/artisans and exporters is valid for 6 months since its issuance and must perform a surveilance at least once in every 24 months.

When the certification and re-certification processes are made?

  • Re-certification is made before the due date of of the LK Certificate;
  • For a collective S-LK ownership, verification of re-certification is made over the group’’s members who have been verified at the beginning and during inspection, where the number of the members remain the same, and are selected randomly.
  • Registration of LK re-certification at least six months before the expiring date.
  • Concession holders are subject to re-certification fees.

What is Surveillance?

  • Surveillance is a controlling activity by auditor and is made annuallly and at least 12 months since the issuance of S-LK;
  • When concesstion holders, management permit holders, or owners of people’s forests require surveilance ia made by LVLK (Timber Legality Verification Body) other than that that issues the S-LK, a verification should be performed from the beginning.
  • Surveilance may result in some conclusions: continuation, freezing, or withdrawal of S-LK.
  • In case of any change of the LK verification standards in LVLK surveilance must perform verification to check the compliance;
  • In case of collective S-LK, surveliance is made in the group’s members that have not been verified during the beginning or earlier verification where the numbers remain the same as those during the earlier verification, and are selected randomly.

What is the V- Legal logo?

The V-Legal logo is stamped on timber, timber products, or the packaging, stating that the timber and the timber products have complied with the PHPL standards or VLK standards by proving the ownership of  S-PHPL or S-LK.

The use of V-Legal logo is regulated in guides to the V-Legal usage.

What is the V-Legal Document?

License document of timber products for export applied for 48 HS Codes. The

Dokumen lisensi ekspor produk kayu yang berlaku untuk 48 HS-Code. The document is issued by the LVLK for every single, for ETPIK which has obtained S-LK or a necessity to perform an inspection for ETPIK which has not obtained the S-LK.

The V-Legal Document is valid for 4 months since its issuance.

Whas is legal timber?

Timber is legal when it complies with verification of its origin, permit, harvest, harvesting system and procedures, administration and transport documents, process, trading/ transferring, all of which fulfill the existing regulations.


All about regulations of SVLK

Regulation of the Minister of Forestry No. P.38/Menhut-II/2009


Regulation of the Minister of Forestry No. P.68/Menhut-II/2011


Regulation of the Minister of Trade No. 64 Tahun 2012


Regulation of the Minister of Forestry No. P.45/Menhut-II/2012


Regulation of the Minister of Forestry No. P.42/Menhut-II/2013


Regulation of the Minister of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia No. P.22/MENLHK/SETJEN/KUM.1/7/2018


Regulation of the Minister of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia No. P.23/MENLHK/SETJEN/KUM.1/7/2018


Regulation of the Minister of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia No. P.24/MENLHK/SETJEN/KUM.1/7/2018


Regulation of the Minister of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia No. P.25/MENLHK/SETJEN/KUM.1/7/2018


Regulation of the Minister of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia No. P.26/MENLHK/SETJEN/KUM.1/7/2018


National Accreditation Committee No. 001/KAN/03/2020


National Accreditation Committee No. 004/KAN/04/2020


National Accreditation Committee No. 003/KAN/04/2020


Circular Letter No. SE.05/PHPL/PPHH/HPL.3/5/2020


Regulation of the Minister of Trade No. 74 Tahun 2020


Regulation of the Minister of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia No. P.21/MENLHK/SETJEN/KUM.1/10/2020


Regulation of the Minister of Trade No. 93 Tahun 2020


Regulation of the Director General of Sustainable Production Forest Management No SK.62/PHPL/SET.5/KUM.1/12/2020

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