FLEGT Independent Market Monitoring

FLEGT Independent Market Monitoring (IMM)


For the latest information on the IMM, please visit: http://www.flegtimm.eu/


IMM is a multi-year project implemented by ITTO and financed by the European Union (EU) to support implementation of bilateral Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPA) between the EU and timber supplying countries.  VPAs are a key element of the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan which defines the EU’s policy to promote legal logging and trade in legally licensed timber. Once agreed, the VPAs include commitments and action from both parties to develop a Legality Assurance System (LAS) which licenses timber and timber products for export to the EU.  IMM responds to requests for independent timber market monitoring from VPA partner countries and commitments to impact assessment made in the agreements.

Overall Objective

To monitor how the EU and wider international market for FLEGT licensed timber develops during the life of the VPA and to build on the opportunity presented by LAS development to improve the quality of timber trade statistics and effectiveness of timber market development programmes for legally licensed FLEGT timber.

Specific Objectives

  • To collect, analyse, report and disseminate information on acceptance and trends of FLEGT-licensed timber on the EU market.
  • To improve knowledge and understanding of the impacts of VPAs on timber prices, trade and market trends globally, especially with regard to VPA partner countries.
  • To ensure VPA countries and the EC provide reliable statistics and information on FLEGT timber trade.
  • To respond to requests and inform decisions by the VPA Joint Monitoring and Review Mechanism (JMRM) in Ghana and the Joint Implementation Committees (JICs) in other VPA countries by providing independent, timely and accurate information on market impact.
  • To contribute to monitoring the impacts of the FLEGT Action Plan and to inform its implementation.
  • To develop a long-term strategy for sustaining the IMM in consultation with the EU and VPA partner countries.


Oversight of IMM activities is provided by a project steering committee (PSC) comprising ITTO and EC representatives. As an integral component of impact monitoring and reporting requirements of the VPAs, IMM is establishing close working relationships with the JMRM in Ghana and JICs in other VPA countries.
A Lead Consultant based in Europe and supervised by ITTO is responsible for developing work plans and co-ordinating data collection and analysis.
ITTO is expanding its statistical and data analysis capacity, hosted in Japan, to align with the objectives of the IMM.
Building on ITTO’s existing network in tropical timber trading countries, IMM is establishing correspondents in each VPA partner country and in priority EU markets for VPA licensed timber. Correspondents are responsible for regular data collection and assessment of market conditions and product prices.
IMM is exploring the potential to establish a Sustainable Timber Information Exchange (STIX) for organisations, both from the public and private sector, which are actively engaged in market monitoring activities. STIX main focus will be on technical issues and exchange of information to: avoid duplication of research; encourage harmonisation of methodologies; and to identify information gaps and ways to overcome these.  


As far as possible, IMM applies a single market monitoring format to all VPA partner countries while also taking into consideration country specific circumstances and needs. A documented set of procedures has been developed to ensure market analysis is consistent, objective and transparent.
A framework of indicators has been developed to allow quantitative assessment of market impacts. These include “global” indicators to monitor the market environment for all FLEGT VPA timber.  Examples include the market impacts of EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) implementation and the scope and content of public sector procurement policies. Other indicators monitor changing markets for VPA licensed timber from each VPA country, for example the volume and value of national trade flows and price premiums for specific indicator products.