Second, unlike most other trade agreements, the two sides negotiate on the same objectives: the elimination of illegal timber and improved forest management. Countries that implement the VPA: six countries have concluded the VPA negotiations and are implementing their agreements with the EU: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ghana, Liberia, Indonesia, Republic of Congo Although no country has yet begun licensing FLEGT, two countries – Ghana and Indonesia – are close to this goal.   Among the measures in the EU Action Plan on the application is the EU SoftWood Regulation, which prohibits farmers from introducing illegally slaughtered timber and by-products on the EU market. Supply measures include Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs), which are legally binding trade agreements between the EU and timber-exporting countries outside the EU. The VPA aims to ensure that wood and by-products exported to the EU come from legal sources. The agreements also help timber-exporting countries end illegal logging by improving the regulation and governance of the forestry sector. Nine other countries are in negotiations with the EU. A number of countries have expressed interest in obtaining more information on the VPA process. The countries implementing VPAs are Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Ghana, Indonesia, Liberia, the Republic of Congo and Vietnam.
VPAs with Guyana and Honduras were signed. Indonesia is the first country to reach the FLEGT approval mark; see section on FLEGT authorisations in Indonesia. Ghana is also at an advanced stage in the implementation of the VPA. The countries negotiating the VPA are Côte d`Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Laos, Malaysia and Thailand. Appendix 3: The first condition of free release in the EU for Thai FLEGT-licensed wood products, while the EU and a national government are negotiating a VPA, the content of the agreement is decided in the partner country through an advisory process involving government, private sector and civil society stakeholders. This means, for example, that national stakeholders decide how legal timber should be defined in accordance with the law of that country. List of the authorities of the Member States responsible for implementing the FLEGT Regulation On 21 April 2016, the Indonesian Presidents, the European Commission and the European Council confirmed that Indonesia had met the last essential requirement of its VPA and was on its way to becoming the first country in the world to issue FLEGT authorisations.  In addition to the other VPA partner countries, Ghana is also at an advanced stage of implementing its timber legal guarantee system prior to the granting of FLEGT licences.  The EU concluded negotiations with Honduras and Guyana and signed an VPA.