Wood from Russia and Belarus cannot be used for PEFC-certified products

With immediate effect all wood from Russia and Belarus is considered as so-called "conflict wood" and therefore cannot be used for PEFC certified products. This was clarified by the Executive Board of PEFC International during an extraordinary meeting on 04.03.2022, in which Vladimir Putin's military aggression against Ukraine and its impact on the PEFC system as well as PEFC-certified forest owners and companies of the PEFC Chain of Custody were discussed.
A statement from PEFC International said: "PEFC is extremely concerned about the Russian government's attack on Ukraine. The military invasion is in direct contradiction to our core values. This aggression is causing untold and unacceptable suffering and the death of innocent people, including women and children. It is also having an immediate and long-term destructive impact on the environment, on forests and on the many people who rely on forests for their livelihoods."
The classification of timber from Russia and Belarus / Belorussia as "conflict timber" follows the adoption of the resolution on aggression against Ukraine by the United Nations General Assembly, which "strongly condemns the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine [...] [and] the involvement of Belarus".
The PEFC International Executive Board will continue to monitor the situation and consider additional measures if necessary.
Technical notes / background on the term "conflict timber":
The PEFC Chain of Custody standard considers "conflict wood" as a so-called "disputed source" (PEFC ST 2002:2020 3.7), which cannot be used in PEFC certified product groups (PEFC ST 2002:2020; Annex 1 6.1). "Conflict timber" is defined as "timber that has been trafficked at any time within the supply chain by armed groups, whether rebel groups or regular soldiers, or by a civil administration involved in an armed conflict or its representatives, either to sustain the conflict or to derive personal benefit from conflict situations." (PEFC ST 2002:2020, 3.6).
The clarification that timber from Russia and Belarus is to be categorised as "conflict timber" is based on UNGA resolution A/ES-11/L.1 (2 March 2022) "Aggression against Ukraine" during the Eleventh Emergency Session. It serves to ensure the integrity of PEFC chain of custody certification. This clarification is initially valid for six months.
PEFC International will publish further guidance on this in the coming days.



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