Following the announcement that all timber originating from Russia and Belarus is ‘conflict timber’, we have received several questions and requests for further clarification.
You can find answers to all questions we have been asked on this page. We will continue to update this page as we receive more questions. If you have a question that is not answered on this page, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When does the clarification take effect?
The clarification is effective as of the date and time the results of the vote of the UN General Assembly Resolution A/ES-11/L.1 (2 March 2022) “Aggression against Ukraine” during the 11th Emergency Special Session 2 March 2022, 11:55 am EST.
How do companies implement this clarification in practice?
Material originating in Russia and Belarus for which a PEFC DDS was applied after 2 March 2022, 11:55 am EST is considered conflict timber, therefore controversial, and cannot be used in the PEFC chain of custody, neither as PEFC certified nor as PEFC controlled sources.
What about timber originating from Russia and Belarus before 2 March 2022?
Material originating in Russia and Belarus for which a PEFC DDS was applied before this 2 March 2022 11:55 EST and for which the DDS resulted in negligible risk can be used and be placed on the market.
- Timber originating from Russia or Belarus for which a DDS was applied before the deadline and is transported from the forest to a sawmill after the deadline can be used with a PEFC claim.
- Timber originating from Russia or Belarus which is already in storage, potentially even outside of the two countries, but the DDS has not yet been applied, is considered as ‘conflict timber’ and cannot be used.
Does ‘conflict timber’ only apply to timber or also to other forest-based products?
The categorisation applies to all forest and tree-based material and products. For ease of reading, this document refers to ‘timber’, but this shall be understood as ‘forest and tree-based products’.
Does the clarification apply to PEFC-certified material as well as to PEFC controlled sources?
The clarification applies to any material entering a PEFC chain of custody and therefore includes both PEFC-certified material as well as controlled sources.
Does the clarification apply to both PEFC Chain of Custody ST 2002:2020 and PEFC Chain of Custody ST 2002:2013?
Yes. The clarification applies to companies certified to apply to either PEFC Chain of Custody ST 2002:2020 and PEFC Chain of Custody ST 2002:2013.
What is PEFC’s response to the aggression against Ukraine?
All timber originating from Russia and Belarus is ‘conflict timber’ and therefore cannot be used in PEFC-certified products. This also applies to all timber originating from occupied Ukrainian territory. PEFC continues to monitor the situation and will consider additional measures as necessary.
What is the rationale behind PEFC’s clarification concerning timber from Russia and Belarus?
The clarification that timber from Russia and Belarus is to be categorised as ‘conflict timber’ is based on the UN General Assembly Resolution A/ES-11/L.1 (2 March 2022) “Aggression against Ukraine” during the 11th Emergency Special Session, to safeguard the integrity of PEFC chain of custody certification.
It follows requests by stakeholders for PEFC to provide clarification for the marketplace and was undertaken in close consultation with PEFC members.
How does PEFC define conflict timber?
PEFC defines conflict timber in its regulatory framework in PEFC ST 2002 as ‘“Timber that has been traded at some point in the chain of custody by armed groups, be they rebel factions or regular soldiers, or by a civilian administration involved in armed conflict or its representatives, either to perpetuate conflict or take advantage of conflict situations for personal gain. (…) Conflict timber is not necessarily illegal.” The exploitation of timber may itself be a direct cause of conflict.
Does this clarification apply only to companies certified against PEFC ST 2002:2020 or also to companies certified against PEFC ST 2002:2013?
It applies to both PEFC Chain of Custody ST 2002:2020 and PEFC Chain of Custody ST 2002:2013.
How will PEFC consider future resolutions by the UN General Assembly?
PEFC will provide consistent clarification for future resolutions adopted by United Nations General Assembly emergency sessions.
How is PEFC supporting its affected colleagues in Ukraine?
PEFC is in ongoing contact with our colleagues at PEFC Ukraine and we are glad to report that they are safe for now. We have offered and are prepared to provide them with any support and assistance needed in this unprecedented situation.
Questions about PEFC-certified areas and companies in Russia and Belarus
How large is the PEFC-certified forest area in Russia and Belarus?
As of 31 December 2021, 31,976,108 hectares of forest in Russia and 9,022,400 hectares of forest in Belarus were PEFC certified. This corresponds to 12.5% of the total global PEFC-certified area of 328,464,110 hectares.
How many companies are PEFC certified in Russia and Belarus?
As of 31 December 2021, 104 companies in Russia and 110 companies in Belarus were PEFC chain of custody certified. This corresponds to 1.7% of all 12,671 PEFC chain of custody certified companies globally.