On 18 January 2017, following a parliamentary debate, the Government of The Netherlands announced the full acceptance of the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) under the Dutch Public Procurement Policy for Sustainable Timber.
The Dutch Minister for the Environment, Sharon Dijksma of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment had earlier made the decision to fully accept the MTCS through a letter to the Dutch Parliament dated 22 December 2016, following the positive outcome of the fact-finding mission by senior government officials and members of the Timber Procurement Assessment Committee (TPAC) to Malaysia from 23-25 November 2016.
The decision is an important milestone for the MTCS and a significant endorsement of Malaysia’s commitment and ongoing efforts in promoting sustainable forestry and timber industry through certification. The Dutch market is the largest importer of certified timber products from Malaysia, accounting for about 30% of the total export of PEFC/MTCS-certified timber products. Additionally, the PEFC/MTCS-certified timber products constitute approximately 50% of the total certified tropical timber imported into the Dutch market. It is therefore envisaged that the acceptance of the MTCS will certainly contribute towards The Netherlands’ ambition of procuring at least 90% of its tropical timber imports from sustainable sources by 2020. With this acceptance, the Netherlands becomes the latest country to fully recognize the MTCS in its public procurement policy along with other countries who have previously recognized MTCS such as United Kingdom, Germany, France, Denmark, Belgium, Finland, Switzerland and Japan.