Using certification scheme codes

Many major wood products are independently certified as meeting certain national, regional or international standards of quality, sustainability, or health and safety. Examples include ‘CE’ marking for suppliers to Europe, ‘CARB’ certification for suppliers to the USA, ‘JAS’ certification for suppliers to Japan, and FSC sustainability certification. Each supplier is allocated a unique code when it is certified under one of these systems. Where a supplier’s identity is not provided in wood markings, packaging, relevant paperwork or shipment databases, it is common for one of these codes to nevertheless be shown. This code can then be cross-referenced against lists of certified suppliers publicly available or obtained from certifying companies, and used to identify the supplier company indirectly. In 2007, for example, Greenpeace used this method to help connect tropical plywood on sale in the Netherlands to specific Chinese manufacturers alleged to be using illegal timber from Papua New Guinea.[1]

[1] Greenpeace International, Partners in Crime: How Dutch timber traders break their promises, trade illegal timber and fuel destruction of the paradise forests, Crime file, April 2007,