The new PEFC Chain of Custody standard officially entered into force on 24 May 2013 in full compliance with EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) requirements. The standard was revised over the past 18 month to satisfy the specific conditions of emerging and existing legislative and regulatory processes, with a particular focus on the EUTR. Companies currently certified to the 2010 PEFC Chain of Custody standard can align their existing system to EUTR requirements until implementation of the 2013 requirements.
The EUTR, which entered into force in March 2013, prohibits illegally harvested timber from being placed on the EU market. It sets out mandatory procedures designed to minimise the risk of illegal timber being sold and applies to both imported and domestically produced timber and is therefore relevant for companies globally.
Key changes to the 2013 Chain of Custody standard include:
- Expanded definition of controversial sources to include EUTR-specific requirements such as compliance with trade and customs legislation in addition to legislation relating to international, national, or local legislation concerning forest-related activities.
- Additional information requirements on tree species and origin to satisfy information needs of various legislative and regulatory processes such as the EUTR
- The PEFC Due Diligence System (DDS) is now an integral element of the PEFC Chain of custody standard and mandatory for all certified entities and all material, including certified material.
- Enhanced scope of prohibited material to include conflict timber
- PEFC will provide extensive support to ensure a smooth transition to the 2013 standard, including webinars, FAQs, and face-to-face training sessions. More information will be published shortly.
The 2013 PEFC Chain of Custody standard was developed in a multi-stakeholder process, in line with PEFC Council Technical Documents Development Procedures (PEFC GD 1003:2009), and benefitted from more than 300 comments received during the global public consultation. Five companies, Papernet, Puumerkki, Steelcase, Weyerhaeuser, and Zellstoff Standal, volunteered to pilot test the requirements, adding on-the-ground experiences to the deliberations of the multi-stakeholder working group.