PEFC is an umbrella certification scheme, which works through national forest certification systems, enabling countries to tailor their sustainable forest management requirements to their specific contexts. PEFC use endorsement process to ensure that national forest certification systems meet PEFC requirements.
PEFC works throughout the entire forest supply chain to promote good practice in the forest and to ensure that timber and non-timber forest products are produced with respect for the highest ecological, social and ethical standards. Thanks to the eco-label, customers and consumers are able to identify products from sustainably managed forests.
A 2019 NEPCon evaluation study on PEFC in relation to EUTR identified that the most important gaps in the PEFC and PEFC-endorsed systems are found within requirements for legality (particularly for legislation related to trade and transport, as well as legal right to harvest, taxes and fees, and third parties’ rights) and the ability of the chain of custody system to mitigate risks of contamination of the material stream with un-certified material. Based on this study, buyers of PEFC material are advised to pay attention to:
- The risk of non-compliance with trade and transport legislation by organisations in the supply chain in their due diligence systems.
- Material certified under the MTCS (Malaysia): the risk of non-compliance with legislation related to taxes and fees.
- Material certified under Cerflor (Brazil): the risk of non-compliance with legislation related to legal right to harvest and taxes and fees.
- Determine whether the PEFC material they are buying includes material sourced under the requirements for ‘controlled sources’, and if yes, determine the country or countries of origin of the material, and assess the risk of non-compliance with legislation deemed not to be covered by the PEFC chain of custody standard (under legal rights to harvest, taxes and fees, third parties’ rights, and trade and transport).
- Conduct a risk assessment of their supply chains for the risk of mixing certified material and material from noncontroversial sources with material that has not been subject to PEFC requirements, which could have been harvested illegally.