How will the regulation work in practice?
Generally, however, it will work like this:
- Importers to the EU of specified products from a country that has implemented a licensing system will need to present their FLEGT Licence (issued by the exporting VPA country) to the so-called 'competent authority' of the country into which it is to enter the EU. For the UK this competent authority is Defra's Animal Health & Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA). Presenting the FLEGT licence will have to be done when the consignment is still en route.
- The AHVLA will input details of the licence on its computer system and will check it against the requirements set out in the regulation. It may query any anomalies with the issuing authority in the VPA country. The AHVLA will determine whether it is a valid licence, or an (as yet) invalid licence.
- When a consignment arrives at the UK port of entry, HMRC's National Clearance Hub will be able to check whether a FLEGT licence has been presented and whether this licence was valid. If so, the consignment can be released.
More details on the process and potential penalties and fees will added to this page when they become available.