TRACEABILITY OF WOOD
Forest certification emerged in the early 1990s on the initiative of the environmental movement. The background was primarily a widespread concern about the pace of deforestation in the tropics and disappointment that international policy initiatives failed to reduce the rate of deforestation. The aim was to create a market-driven and voluntary tool to encourage responsible use of the world’s forests.
The first independent certification organization founded was FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®) in 1993. FSC has since been followed by several other forest certification schemes which PEFC™ (Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes) today is the largest, in terms of certified forest area.
Pursuant to Kärnsund Wood Links Responsible Sourcing Policy, wood may not come from controversial sources. It must not come from illegal cuttings, areas of particular natural value (unless measures promoting biodiversity are involved), gene-modified trees or areas with serious social conflicts including violence and confrontation. Neither the wood may come from natural forests transformed to other use.
Wherever possible, we try to find certified alternatives. In most countries, the certificates standards demand a much higher level of consideration than the national laws require. The FSC, PEFC and Rainforest Alliance traceability standards together with EU timber regulation EU-TR 995/2013 contributes to minimize sourcing of illegally harvested timber. Illegally harvested wood is not permitted in certified products and are illegal to import to the countries of the European Union. Only approved and certified forestry owners, traders and producers can manage and sell certified products. Audits made by an independent external certification body ensure that the companies in the chain of custody fulfill the demands placed under the standards.
CERTIFICATIONS AND REGULATIONS
FSC is an abbreviation of the Forest Stewardship Council® and is an independent, international member organization that promotes environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests. The origin of the forest tries to promote responsible forest management with a good balance between forestry, environmental and social interests.
Consideration is given not only to the environment but also to issues such as workers rights. Annual inspections of foresters, producers and trades in the supply chain are carried out by independent certification bodies that are accredited by FSC. To be able to claim the end user product is made by FSC-certified material, all the wood material must be delivered to the end user via an unbroken chain of FSC-certified companies.
Kärnsund Wood Link AB is since more than a decade certified for FSC Chain-of-Custody and FSC Controlled Wood. We have a large network of suppliers who can deliver FSC-certified products in a wide range of products. Kärnsund Wood Link is one of the companies in Sweden having most experience of dealing with and managing FSC-certified products. As a customer to us you can be confident that we can answer most questions related to the rules and management of FSC-certified products.
Please read more about FSC’s activities on their website through any of the links below.
DOWNLOAD OUR FSC-CERTIFICATE
DOWNLOAD OUR FSC-POLICY
The formation of PEFC was a response to the need for a system that took into account the small-scale family forestry special conditions. In 1998 the forest owners in Finland, Germany, France, Norway, Austria and Sweden, together with representatives from the areas of industry, started a collaborative effort to develop a common forestry certification for that purpose. It led to the Pan European Forest Certification Council (PEFCC) was formed in 1999.
By forming PEFCC a mechanism was created that allowed different countries to develop standards that were adapted to local conditions, while also following internationally accepted guidelines and requirements for sustainable forest management. Today, PEFC is the largest system in the world for forest certification in terms of certified acreage and dominated in the Northern Hemisphere.
PEFC warrant to customers and the public that PEFC-certified forests are managed according to the requirements for sustainable, conservation adapted forestry according to official criteria adopted in the European forest policy cooperation Forest Europe. Companies and industries that want to sell their products as PEFC-certified must prove that the wood comes from PEFC certified forests. To PEFC-label product, all suppliers and manufacturers from the forester to the finished product must be certified according to PEFC Chain of Custody.
Chain of Custody would require that each organization from the raw material in the forest to the commodity shall demonstrate that they have procedures in place that accurately indicates the proportion of the goods purchased from upstream certified. Companies holding a traceability certificates are also able to get a logo license to PEFC label their products.
Read more about PEFC activities on their website via the link below.
DOWNLOAD OUR PEFC-CERTIFICATE
RAINFOREST ALLIANCE – GENERAL CHAIN OF CUSTODY CERTIFICATE
Rainforest Alliance’s SmartWood program was founded in 1989 to verify responsible forest management and is focused on providing forest owners, importers and traders certification verification and audit services.
General Chain of Custody Certificate is a generic standard for verification of legal origin that verifies that the wood comes from foresters who have a documented legal right to harvest according to the laws and regulations that apply in the current harvest area.
To maintain certification annual on-site audit by an independent third party auditor against the standards VLO (Verification of Legal Origin) or VLC (Verification of Legal Compliance) is required. An audition verifies that the documentation and procedures complies with the standard and that material can be identified and traced throughout the processing and supply chain.
Read more about the Rainforest Alliance’s operations and General Chain-of-Custody certificate on their website via the link below.
DOWNLOAD OUR GENERAL CHAIN OF CUSTODY CERTIFICATE
VLO & VLC
The Rainforest Alliance Verification of Legal Origin (VLO) and Verification of Legal Compliance (VLC), offers businesses in the wood and forestry industry certified tools for traceability of timber. Forest companies, timber industries, importers and dealers can help with the certificates to show that the business is conducted in accordance with existing laws and regulations.
VLO (Verification of Legal Origin) verifies that timber comes from a source that the harvester has a documented legal right to harvest, pursuant to the laws and regulations of the government of the jurisdiction. Suppliers of VLO timber must follow and maintain documented chain-of-custody systems.
VLC (Verification of Legal Compliance) ensures that the administrative requirements of permitting, planning, taxes or fees, and harvesting, as well as a broad range of applicable and relevant laws and regulations related to forestry, have been met.
The difference between “legal origin” and “legal compliance” is an important one. Legal origin verification signifies that a company has met the administrative requirements of permitting, planning, taxes or fees, and harvesting in defined areas only. Legal compliance encompasses a broad range of laws on environmental protection, wildlife, water and soil conservation, harvesting codes and practices, worker health and safety, and fairness to communities.
Read more about the Rainforest Alliance’s activities and VLC on their website via the links below.
DOWNLOAD OUR VLC-CERTIFICATE
OLB system (Origine et Légalité des Bois, translated as Origin and Legality of wood) was developed in 2004 by Bureau Veritas to meet customer demand for an official certificate from a third party proving legality of wood products.
It is based on:
• A certificate for forestry companies
• A record for the timber industry, import and trading company
OLB certification is based on standards for the certification of forestry companies. The standard requires that the forest company complies with all legal requirements regarding forest management and harvesting, employment, safety, and environmental impact. It also requires traceability of the timber within the company until the sale.
Kärnsund Wood Link is sourcing OLB certified products under the General Chain-of-Custody certificate.
Read more about Bureau Veritas Certification activity on their website via the link below.
EU TIMBER REGULATION EU-TR 995/2010
The Timber Regulation was legislated on 3rd March 2013 and is laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market and counters the trade in illegally harvested timber and timber products through three key obligations:
It prohibits the placing on the EU market for the first time of illegally harvested timber and products derived from such timber;
It requires EU traders who place timber products on the EU market for the first time to exercise ‘due diligence’.
Once on the market, the timber and timber products may be sold on and/or transformed before they reach the final consumer. To facilitate the traceability of timber products economic operators in this part of the supply chain (referred to as traders in the regulation) have an obligation to keep records of their suppliers and customers.
The Regulation covers a wide range of timber products listed in its Annex using EU Customs code nomenclature.
To meet the requirements of the EU-TR Kärnsund Wood Link has implemented the traceability system Legal Source for all wood imported into the EU market. The system covers everything from the declarations of legality from suppliers, to risk assessments and documentation for each delivery. The aim is to minimize the risk of buying and reselling illegally harvested timber. To further minimize the risk of trading in illegal timber, purchase of certified wood is always the primary choice.
Read more about Timber Regulation via the link below.