On 16 January, the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF) of Cameroon issued the first certificates of legality to 8 timber processing companies under the VPA (FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement) that was signed between Cameroon and the European Union in 2010. The 8 companies are: CIFM, GVI, SEFECCAM, SFIL, SIM, CAFECO, ALPICAM and SEFAC, all of which are members of the GFBC.
This certificate of legality is one of the steps in the FLEGT authorisation scheme. It certifies that the activities carried out by the timber processing company on its processing site comply with legal requirements. This certificate will be essential for all companies wishing to obtain the FLEGT authorisation that will enable them to export their timber products to the European market.
This is an important step in the operational implementation of the FLEGT authorisation scheme in Cameroon, which will have to be supplemented by the issuance of certificates of legality for the forestry operators (to certify the legality of forest management and logging activities) and the verification of timber traceability at the national level (with the notable assistance of the SIGIF 2 tools, currently under development and testing) prior to the issuance of the first FLEGT authorisations.