FSC® Controlled Wood (CW)

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FSC requirements

In order to give operations the possibility to use non FSC certified material for the FSC production, the material category „Controlled Wood“ has been introduced. The respective requirements are established in the „Controlled Wood Standard“(STD-40-005) which is controlled in addition to the CoC Standard, if an organization wants to make use of this material category.

FSC defines five categories of sources of wood which are not acceptable:
  1. Illegally harvested wood;
  2. Wood harvested in violation of traditional or civil rights; 
  3. Wood harvested in forests where high conservation values are threatened by management activities;
  4. Wood from forests in which genetically modified tress are planted;
  5. Wood harvested in forests being converted to plantations or non- forest use.

A company that wants to use FSC Controlled Wood for FSC certified production can either purchase material from a certified supplier who declares the material as „controlled“ or can assume the control of the material itself in case of uncertified suppliers . Therefore, the non certified material will be subject to a verification program in which the company has to determine the risk of a controversial origin.

Verification Program

The first step to assess the risk is the determination of the exact geographic origin, at the minimum the country of origin and if necessary the specific region of the country. When defining the region, homogenous units should be considered, for example in tropical countries it makes sense to distinguish between natural forests of the mountains and plantations of the lowlands. For all purchases the source has to be known and verifiable, for example by means of transport documents or proof of purchase. The company has to include all suppliers in the verification program and the material has to be traceable within the complete supply chain back to the forest location. The longer the supply chain is the more difficult the proof of origin will be.

The risk assessment will then be carried out for each of the previously defined regions of purchase and the supply chain. For each of the above mentioned five categories of controversial sources an assessment of risk in the region involved is realized. The risk can either be classified as low or as specified/unspecified. Only wood from regions where the risk for all five categories was classified as low can be approved as controlled after having presented the proof of origin. As soon as one of the five categories is assessed as unspecified risk, further controls become necessary.

In this case, the company has to carry out further investigations and if necessary an audit on-site in order to re-evaluate the risks concerning the suppliers involved; only the proof of origin is not enough any more.

The national FSC working groups are in charge of national risk assessments; the national risk assessments in turn are controlled and accredited by FSC International. A list of all risk assessments is online available and constantly updated (https://ic.fsc.org/file-download.cnra-and-nra-database.6435.htm).

The (Centralised) National Risk Assessments approved by FSC are online available (https://ic.fsc.org/en/document-center). For some countries, as for example Germany, the risk assessment result demonstrates low risk for all FSC Controlled Wood categories and may therefore principally be used as  FSC Controlled Wood.
Additional information on risk assessments can be found on the website http://www.globalforestregistry.org also.

There are other requirements in addition to the risk assessment. The organization has to document suppliers, the delivered volume of wood and tree species; a complaints mechanism has to be introduced and the policy of the organization regarding the sourcing of wood has to be made publicly available.

FSC Controlled Wood in Forest Management

Forest owners and forest management estates who want to prove the legality and exemplarity of their forest management can also apply for a controlled wood certification according to the FSC Standard 30-010. This way they can sell controlled wood material to certified organizations.

Our service

  • Control of the Controlled Wood Standard for processors as a part of the chain of custody control program. 
  • Control of forest management estates according to the Controlled Wood Standard for Forest Management Enterprises.

Public stakeholder consultations

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Contact us



Department of Forestry & Timber
Fon +41 (0) 71 626 0 628 and
        +49 (0) 7531 9429130
forest@ecocert.com (FM)
wood&paper@ecocert.com (COC)


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