Third party schemes tested against EUTR

November 2012

A European Timber Trade Federation (ETTF)-commissioned report has concluded that no leading third party legality verification or certification scheme currently fully meets the illegal timber “risk mitigation” criteria demanded in the upcoming EU Timber Regulation (EUTR).



However, the study by consultancy Proforest found that in four of the ten schemes studied, EUTR

non-compliances were only partial and that these schemes were likely be accepted as adequate proof of legality when the legislation comes in on March 3 2013. It also highlighted that others were working towards compliance before the deadline.

The Proforest report analysed the schemes of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), BV Origin and Legality of Wood (OLB), Certisource Legality Assurance System (CLAS), GFS Wood Tracking Programme (WTP), Rainforest Alliance SmartWood Verification of Legal Origin and Verification of Legal Compliance (SmartWood VLO and VLC), Soil Association Forest Verification of Legal Compliance (FVLC), SCS LegalHarvest Verification (LHV) and NEPCon LegalSourceTM Standard (LS).

The conclusion was that, despite some partial compliance, LS, LHV, FVLC, and SmartWood VLC would “provide acceptable assurance and credibility” under EUTR criteria.

The other six schemes had areas of non-compliance, including the FSC and PEFC. However, Proforest recommended that, as these are addressing their “shortfalls”, they should be reassessed later.

ETTF secretary general André de Boer said the Report provided a useful tool for timber businesses. “By doing this assessment using technical expertise, our aim is to support operators, while ensuring greater consistency in the implementation of the EUTR,” he said.

Click the picture to see the full report and annex.