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EU, Liberia Conclude Bilateral Forest Agreement

9 May 2011: The EU and Liberia have concluded a bilateral agreement to certify the legal origin of imported wood products into the EU.

According to the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), all shipments of wood products to the EU from Liberia will be required to carry a license certifying their legal origin by early 2014. Liberia has thus committed to establish a national system to ensure legal compliance in timber production, covering all wood products destined for the EU, as well as those sold on the domestic market and to non-EU markets. The EU committed to guarantee unrestricted access to its market for all wood products coming from Liberia.

This is the sixth in a series of VPAs that have been negotiated between the EU and timber-producing countries, including Indonesia, the Central Africa Republic, Cameroon, the Republic of Congo and Ghana. VPAs are expected to stop illegal deforestation and environmental degradation, while contributing to the fight against climate change. [EU Press Release]