Malaysia is supportive of the EU-FLEGT VPA initiative. Pending conclusion of negotiations for a FLEGT VPA with the EU, Malaysia commenced implementation of the Timber Legality Assurance Scheme (TLAS) designated as MYTLAS, purely as Malaysia’s own initiative since 1 February 2013, to assure the legality of its timber and timber products exported to the EU. MYTLAS has also in place comprehensive control procedures to ensure the exclusion of unverified timber.
This booklet contains information on the scope of MYTLAS, its control procedures, institutional arrangements and its implementation in Peninsular Malaysia. Malaysia is confident that MYTLAS meets the requirements of the due diligence under the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR).
KEY INFORMATION ON MYTLAS
MYTLAS has in place comprehensive control procedures to ensure the exclusion of unverified timber. Malaysia is confident that MYTLAS meets the requirements of Due Diligence under the EUTR. A total of eleven (11) timber and timber products are covered in the scope of MYTLAS. They are:
- Logs (HS Code 4403)
- Railway Sleepers (HS Code 4406)
- Sawntimber (HS Code 4407)
- Veneer (HS Code 4408)
- Mouldings (HS Code 4409)
- Particleboard (HS Code 4410)
- Fibreboard (HS Code 4411)
- Plywood (HS Code 4412)
- Wooden Frames (HS Code 4414)
- Joinery Products (HS Code 4418)
- Wooden Furniture (HS Code 9403.30/40/50/60/90)
The MYTLAS covers timber and timber products derived from logs harvested from natural forests and plantation forests whether in Permanent Forests, State Land or Alienated Land. It also includes rubberwood from replanting operations and imported timber which complies with Malaysia’s import regulations.
MYTLAS Control Procedures
Legal timber is defined in specific terms by the compliance with all the relevant laws and procedures governing the entire supply chain from the forest, the processing mills and finally to the export point. The relevant laws and procedures are clustered under six Principles as follows:
- Right To Harvest
- Forest Operations
- Statutory Charges
- Other Users' Rights
- Mill Operations
- Trade and Customs
Each of these Principles is supported by a number of Criteria. Each Criterion is elaborated in the Table below which indicates:
Summary and Pricipals of MYTLAS
- the exact legislative reference relevant to the respective Criterion, which must be complied with;
- the verification procedures to demonstrate compliance;
- the responsible implementing agencies; and
- the outputs of the verification procedures.
Implementation of the MYTLAS involves close coordination between the Licensing Authority and the implementing agencies (See Diagram below). To facilitate coordination, information flow and enforcement activities of the implementing agencies to the Licensing Authority, an Implementing Agency Coordination Committee (IACC) has been established comprising all the relevant implementing agencies.
The IACC meets regularly to coordinate, monitor and consider reports on the enforcement activities of the implementing agencies. The IACC will also recommend remedial actions and other necessary measures to effectively implement MYTLAS.
In addition, to ensure transparency and good governance, a TLAS Advisory Group (TAG) has been established comprising members from the civil society, industry, technical experts and representatives from key implementing agencies. The TAG meets regularly to discuss reports submitted by the IACC on the overall implementation of MYTLAS including non-compliances, remedial actions taken, concerns and feedback from stakeholders, annual reports by the third party auditor and reports on the enforcement activities of the implementing agencies.
Implementation of MYTLAS
Development of TLAS
The TLAS has been developed through extensive consultations with stakeholders, comprising environmental and social groups, the industry, workers unions, academia and research organisations, amongst others.
An independent consultant was commissioned to develop Guidelines and Checklist to facilitate auditing the implementation and operation of the MYTLAS. These Guidelines and Checklist were subsequently used to undertake an annual compliance audit of the MYTLAS by a third party auditor. The IACC regularly keeps the TAG informed on the implementation of MYTLAS focusing on non-compliances and remedial actions and feedback from stakeholders. All these arrangements ensure the robustness of the MYTLAS.
Apart from annual third party compliance audit, the IACC will also receive reports from the implementing agencies on their enforcement activities with regard to the operations of the MYTLAS. These internal audits by the implementing agencies also contribute to the robustness of the MYTLAS. Thus, the annual compliance audits by the third party auditor together with the internal auditing coupled with the governance roles of the TAG, give the necessary level of confidence to the licensing authority to issue MYTLAS licenses.
MYTLAS incorporates all the relevant legislation throughout the supply chain from the forest to the export point to assure legality of timber exports. The MYTLAS license fully meets the requirements for due diligence under the EUTR for exports of timber products to the EU.