FSC International – Forests for All Forever

Facts & Figures

195,201,005 ha certified
33,439 CoC certificates
1,512 FM/CoC certificates

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The latest news and views from FSC, plus related forestry industry updates


Wednesday, 31 October 2012

FSC_IMG_8802 (© FSC A.C.)© FSC A.C.

The EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) enters into force in March 2013. It obliges companies putting wood and wood products on the EU market to make sure that no illegally harvested timber is involved.

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the multi-stakeholder organisation that has created the world’s most reliable and trusted system for responsible forest management, is a strong supporter of policies that fight illegal forestry practices.

The EUTR and its implementing laws set conditions for private certification schemes to be used by companies importing wood or wood products, to reduce the risk that illegal timber is traded on the market. These conditions are stringent and, if systematically applied, would recognise only the most reliable schemes such as FSC.

With a robust system for accreditation, independent verification and dispute resolution, FSC is the most reliable sustainable forest management scheme worldwide. Yearly field audits, as the EU requires, are common practise. The FSC system, furthermore, is transparent and its complaints procedure accessible to all stakeholders.

FSC has been working to ensure that its system is compliant with the EUTR and to ensure that certificate holders are fully informed with respect to the regulation. To this end, three advice notes were adopted through consultation with FSC members and stakeholders, to ensure that importing companies are able to provide EUTR inspectors information about the origin and nature of the timber involved, and ensure that FSC certified products do not contain “minor components” of unknown origin.

One final step needs to be taken, triggered by a document the European Commission published this week, which specifies a requirement of certainty that companies exporting the wood or wood products from the country of origin comply with trade and customs laws. FSC is working to ensure that the relevant FSC certificate holders will provide this information as well.

More information:

The following three advice notes are published in the updated FSC Directive on Chain of Custody Certification (FSC-DIR-40-004):

1. Advice note on non-conforming product (FSC-ADVICE-40-004-08)
2. Advice note on minor components derogations (FSC-ADVICE-40-004-09)
3. Advice note on access to information regarding species and origin of timber (FSC-ADVICE-40-004-10)


The updated FSC Directive on Chain of Custody Certification containing the three new advice notes is accessible here.

The Questions & Answers Document about FSC and the EU Timber Regulation has been updated and is now accessible here.


Keeping up with all the latest information about forest management and certification can be difficult. That’s why we collect it for you in our newsroom. The newsroom is where you’ll find news from FSC, as well as information about developments in the wider forestry industry. It’s also home to The Root of the Matter, the monthly blog from FSC Director General Kim Carstensen.