This paper explores the extent to which companies in the furniture sector seeking to exercise robust due diligence under the EU Timber Regulation(EUTR) can rely on certification schemes run by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). The paper provided background information for a workshop on the furniture sector and EUTR at Chatham House on 22-23 October 2013.
- Given the complexity of products in the furniture sector, effective implementation of the EUTR is possible only if the private sector develops robust internal supply-chain controls. These controls must be able to identify the source of the products in question (which typically are composed of multiple species from a variety of sources) and provide the information necessary for operators to exercise credible due diligence.
- It is expected that in many cases, supply-chain controls will incorporate existing third-party certification schemes. For this reason, the technical compliance standards established by those schemes are a vital component of the effective functioning and credibility of the EUTR.
- Operators need to understand that robust compliance with the EUTR requires undertaking broad primary risk assessment for all product groups and source countries – regardless of the availability of certification.
- EUTR enforcement officers must understand the correct procedure for purchasing credibly certified products and the different types of certification claim.