New Danish public procurement guidelines recommend the Rainforest Alliance's Verification of Legal Compliance (VLC) scheme as assurance for meeting the Danish government's requirements for legality of timber products.
The recognition by the Danish government follows the endorsement of the VLC system earlier this year by the Dutch Keurhout-Legal Program.
The guidelines provide recommendations for specific certification and verification schemes as the “easy option” for public buyers looking for assurance for legality and sustainability of timber products. In these cases, the advice is that buyers do not need to seek additional documentation.
In addition to the schemes explicitly endorsed by the guidelines, other forms of documentation may be accepted as well, pending individual evaluation. The guidelines describe how such documentation should be evaluated.
VLC – an easy option for assurance of legality
The VLC scheme is recommended along with four other schemes - FSC, PEFC, FLEGT and SGS-TLTV – as “the easy way” for public buyers seeking assurance for the legality of timber.
FSC and PEFC are the only schemes recommended as “easy assurance” for both legality and sustainability of timber products.
The guidelines are published by the Danish Ministry of Environment and all public buyers are advised to follow them. In contrast to some other public procurement policies adopted by European governments, such as the UK, the Danish guidelines are voluntary to follow for public buyers.
One of the identified obstacles for public buyers is lack of experience and knowledge about how to proceed. The new guidance seeks to address this by providing more operational advice.