Industry News

BVRio and CINFT establish partnership to assist Chinese traders in sourcing legal timber

The online negotiations platform for wood products BVRio has established a partnership with the Center for International Forest Products Trade (CINFT), State Forestry Administration (SFA), located in the Chinese Academy of Forestry (CAF).

The memorandum of understanding aims to promote legality in the timber trade sector in China. In particular, the parties will work together to adapt the BVRio Responsible Timber Exchange and Due Diligence and Risk Assessment System to enable Chinese timber traders and buyers to screen legal products. The process is set to be conducted in harmony with the China Responsible Company/Products Platform under development by CINFT and the China Responsible Forest Product Trade and Investment Alliance (China RFA).

The Chinese timber sector transacts significant volumes of timber, both domestically and internationally: China is the second larger global importer of tropical timber and consumes more than 10% of all harvested timber worldwide; the imported timber represents over 50% of the total volumes processed in China; a significant proportion of the timber production in China is exported for a variety of countries, including the European Union and the USA.

"The high rate of illegality affecting the tropical timber sector worldwide makes it urgent to provide the Chinese timber sector with appropriate tools to help importers to identify and avoid illegal timber," underlines BVRio in a news release. "Given the substantial volumes of timber imported by China, the adoption of measures to avoid the import of illegal tropical timber will generate a major positive impact in the global fight against timber illegality. Demonstrating the legality in the supply chain will also help the Chinese timber export sector to comply with requirements of regulated markets such as the EU, USA, Australia and others."

Both BVRio and the Chinese Academy of Forestry have been working to develop tools and systems to assist timber traders in conducting the due diligence and screening timber products for their legality status. This partnership will assist the parties to explore the synergies between their work, to result in wider positive impacts in the Chinese timber sector.   

BVRio's Due Diligence and Risk Assessment tool is an automated system, based on big data analysis and block chain technology, to screen tropical system for legality. Since it was launched in 2015, the system was used by timber traders and regulatory agencies to screen more than 15,000 containers and more than US$ 1 billion worth of timber products.


[News URL:]

PEFC issues its Annual Review 2016

The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) has released its Annual Review 2016 featuring the most recent achievements of the organization.

2016 saw 300 million hectares of PEFC-certified forest and several new national certifications schemes - from Ghana, Hungary, Macedonia, Republic of Korea, Romania and Thailand - joining PEFC.

Moreover a dozen countries - including Cameroon - are now developing national systems and preparing for PEFC membership.

PEFC also launched the revision process of its Sustainability Benchmarks – the standards that form the basis for nearly all PEFC activities.

"As the world changes, best practices and knowledge evolve and society’s expectations grow, we must make sure our standards are the best they can be. The process that will take more than two years, affect the majority of our standards, and involve hundreds of experts and thousands of stakeholders", the organization highlights.

Download the PEFC Annual Review 2016 here.


[News URL:]

FSC national forest stewardship standard for UK gains conditional approval

At the beginning of May, the draft of FSC national forest stewardship standard for the UK (aka UK Woodland Assurance Standard or UKWAS) was conditionally approved by FSC International’s Policy and Standards Committee (PSC).

The conditional approval of the standard means that there is no further requirement for it to be considered by the PSC. All subsequent discussions about the contents of the standard will be with FSC Policy and Standards Unit (PSU) staff in Bonn, who will have the final say over when conditions have been met. 

The standard has undergone a thorough revision process which began in 2013 and was not approved in first instance by FSC International. Therefore it was resubmitted in February this year.

In terms of the contents of the revised standard, the main condition set by the PSC is that general references to compliance with the law, such as health and safety or workers’ rights legislation, must be replaced with readily auditable, outcome-oriented requirements. 

The PSC has also stipulated that changes be made to the UK standard development group before the next revision of the standard, to ensure representation of economic, environmental and social interests is chamber-balanced in accordance with FSC requirements. 

“This is terrific news,” said FSC UK Forest Standards Manager Dr Owen Davies. “This positive decision from the PSC has been made possible by the hard work and commitment of the UKWAS Steering Group, whose members responded so constructively to FSC feedback on the previous draft. There are still challenges to overcome, but I’m confident that, with continuing constructive collaboration between FSC UK, FSC International and the UKWAS Steering Group, the outstanding conditions can be resolved.”

UKWAS Steering Group chair, Peter Wilson, said: “The revision exercise has been a long haul but the completion of our work is in sight and the steering group will meet shortly to work on closing out the remaining concerns raised by FSC. The revision process has been thorough and radical and, once these conditions are met, we hope that users will find the updated version to be more logical in its approach and much easier to use than earlier versions. Praise is due to steering group members for their tenacity and the dedication they have brought to the task of revising and improving the UKWAS”.

For more info, it is possible to contact Owen Davies at


[News URL:]

PEFC International launches '2017 Experience Forests' photo contest

PEFC International has launched a photo contest, '2017 Experience Forests', aimed at promoting the importance of forests worldwide.

Photographers can enter a wide variety of pictures: from forest landscapes to close ups within the forest, also including people living, working or playing in woodlands.

The competition - open for entries until Monday 5th June 2017 and limited to 5 photos per person - can be joined on Instagram, Facebook or by accessing

The best photos from the contest will enter the international contest and compete for the 2017 PEFC Photographer of the Year Award!

The winner will receive a trip to Helsinki, Finland to attend the 2017 PEFC Forest Certification Week or a cash prize of 3000 CHF.

The top 12 photos will be publicly exhibited at the 2017 PEFC Forest Certification Week at the Scandic Park hotel in Helsinki, Finland in November 2017 and potentially in other places around the world throughout 2017/2018.

Moreover, the top 12 photos will be featured in the 2018 PEFC ‘Experience Forests, Experience PEFC’ photo calendar

For more info, click here. Follow the trend on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook at #PEFCUKIRE. 


[News URL:]

PEFC opens public consultation on Cameroonian national forest certification system

PEFC stakeholders around the world are invited to comment - through the Online Consultation Tool and by the 9th July 2017 - on the Cameroonian national forest certification system.

This is the first time Cameroon submits its national forest certification system to PEFC, joining Gabon as the second African country to seek PEFC endorsement.

The public consultation is also open for Canada and Uruguay national forest certification schemes with a deadline set for 3 July 2017. This is the third and second time, respectively, that these countries have applied for endorsement by PEFC. 

The global public consultation is a vital part of the PEFC endorsement process. All comments received during the 60 day consultation will be provided to the independent organization carrying out the assessment. This valuable information will help determine whether the national system is in compliance with PEFC international requirements.

To ensure that the national systems continue to meet best practices, scientific advances and society’s expectations, PEFC limits the validity of endorsements to five years. After this period, national systems can apply for re-endorsement to continue benefitting from PEFC recognition.

View the open PEFC stakeholders' consultations here.


[News URL:]