The Interaction between FSC Certification and the Implementation of the EU Timber Regulation in Romania

dc.contributor.authorGavrilut, I.
dc.contributor.authorHalalisan, A.F.
dc.contributor.authorGiurca, A.
dc.contributor.authorSotirov, M.
dc.titleThe Interaction between FSC Certification and the Implementation of the EU Timber Regulation in Romaniaen
dcterms.abstractThis explorative study aims to shed light on the ways in which Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification interacts with the implementation of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) in Romania. To this end, the EUTR implementation process is examined, and the relationship between this implementation and FSC certification is explored. There is a particular focus on the extent to which certification has helped companies to comply with EUTR requirements. The study uses the analytical framework of Transnational Business Governance Interactions (TBGI) and a mixed research approach. It is found that FSC certification has to a large extent helped companies to prepare for and align with the EUTR's requirements, in particular concerning risk assessment and risk mitigation procedures needed for a due diligence system (DDS), and in the context of a "policy vacuum" period related to EUTR implementation. Moreover, recent changes in the FSC standard make it theoretically in line with EUTR requirements. However, difficulties remain in relation to the lack of information, costs and bureaucracy associated with both EUTR implementation and FSC certification. Notably, in the absence of a monitoring organization, the establishment of a viable DDS is still problematic as many companies remain unprepared for developing their own systems. Finally, the EUTR and its risk management requirements may have partly fueled the increase in uptake of chain of custody (CoC) certification in Romania. However, due to the risk of CoC certificates including illegally sourced timber, this recent uptake in certification does not necessarily indicate improved sustainable forest management (SFM) or full compliance with EUTR.en
dcterms.accessRightsOpen access
dcterms.bibliographicCitationGavrilut, I., Halalisan, A.F., Giurca, A. and Sotirov, M., 2016. The interaction between FSC certification and the implementation of the EU timber regulation in Romania. Forests, 7(1), p.3.en
dcterms.typeJournal Article
fsc.evidenceCategoryFSC impact-related
fsc.focus.sustainDimensionPolitical, legal, systemic
fsc.issue.economicDue dilligence
fsc.subjectAuditor Qualifications
fsc.subjectRequirements For Auditors
fsc.topic.politicalEU Timber Regulation
is.availability.fullTextFull text available
is.contributor.funderTypePrivate funds (NGOs, companies, VSS self-funded etc)
is.contributor.memberForest Stewardship Council
is.evaluation.collectionInterviews/surveys with certified entities and their representatives and workers/producers
is.evaluation.dataSourceIndependent researcher data
is.evaluation.notesSee feedback FSC (John Hontelez and Marion Karmann) to the authors in terms of some 'misrepresentations' in the paper. Article can only shared with FSCs comments attached. E-mail: "Dear authors, dear Jack: With interest we found your new article "Interaction between FSC Certification and the Implementation of the EU Timber Regulation in Romania". My colleague John Hontelez is "my" EUTR expert in FSC, and he gave feedback to your publication, which we discussed. Below now our feedback and attached the article with comments, and we are very interested to hear your views about it.While we appreciate the article and welcome the research done, we would like to ask you to review two elements which are now giving an unjustified negative impression of the FSC scheme: 1. In two places you write that the current FSC standards do not explicitly refer to each of the EUTR's requirements, and in one place you explicitly mention a loophole as regards trade and customs laws. Your source seems to be a Proforest evaluation of 2012. However, in 2013 FSC has adopted a set of Advice Notes (which are amendments/additions to existing Standards) which cover all the loopholes and clarify the FSC requirements regarding legality, explicitly including all the EUTR requirements (and more). See the comments in attachment. 2. You state that there are loopholes in the FSC CoC-CW standard. We have three concerns with this:a. You do not explain which loopholesb. You do not explain that FSC has been reviewing its CW standard, which is now finalized leading to a new Standard that will enter into force 1/7/16 – see: . This new Standard also introduces an entirely new risk-assessment procedure, implemented by FSC itself rather than individual companies. And that for Romania in particular a National Risk Assessment has already been approved: One of the two sources you use for this statement is FSC-Watch, a website which only aim is to criticise FSC. The specific article you refer to is written in 2006, just after the Controlled Wood Standard was launched. It does not include any evidence of abuse or poor performance, it is entirely based on assumptions about the future.
is.evaluation.quotes"the study sets two instrumental research objectives:(1) to examine the EUTR implementation process in Romania;(2) to explore the relationship between FSC certification and EUTR implementation, in particular examining to what extent FSC certification has helped companies to comply with EUTR requirements"
is.evaluation.quotes"The complexities of tracking timber origin, avoiding legal liability, and ultimately preventing illegal logging and associated trade are the drivers and shapers that most influence the different interactions between the two policy instruments."
is.evaluation.quotes"The introduction of EUTR has effected changes in FSC's standards which were aligned andadapted to meet EUTR due diligence requirements. Thus, in theory, the FSC certification scheme canbe used in EUTR's framework of risk assessment and risk mitigation procedures. This was confirmedby FSC-certified companies and NGOs who generally believe that certification plays an important rolein fulfilling EUTR requirements and that it is useful for mitigating the risk of trading illegal timber,and/or for facilitating information access and risk assessment of the suppliers."
is.evaluation.quotesUnintended impact: "With the uptake in certification and legality verification, some stakeholders expect that smaller operators will be driven out of business, this development potentially affecting the sourcing capacities of biggerprocessors as well."
is.evaluation.quotesImpact: "Certification requirements had prepared companies to better deal with administrative routines,which also improved their ability to comply with the EUTR and HG 470/2014."
is.evaluation.quotes"As a market-based initiative, certification had already fostered these companies' good relationship with internationaltrade partners. Hence, certified companies participating in this study did not perceive the EUTR asnegatively affecting their suppliers, exports or customers. These findings are consistent with previousobservations that only minor changes and costs are likely to occur for firms with existing forest andCoC certificates [19]. However, there are concerns that new requirements introduced through theEUTR would raise additional costs for companies and in turn hinder their competitiveness on theEU timber market. While bureaucracy associated with EUTR implementation was indicated as aproblem expressed both by international and national stakeholders [36], FSC certified companies inRomania did not perceive bureaucracy to pose any problems to EUTR implementation. However, lackof information and guidance still seems to be a persistent issue. The policy vacuum period hinderingimplementation might have played a role in generating this uncertainty and lack of understandingaround EUTR provisions. However, best practice guidelines aim to address this issue"
is.evidenceSubTypeDescriptive information - contextual and operational
is.evidenceTypeDescriptive information
is.focus.productsOther forestry and logging
is.focus.sdgSDG 15 - Life on Land
is.focus.sustainIssueForests and other ecosystems
is.focus.sustainLensAudits and assurance
is.focus.sustainOutcomeDeforestation and forest protection
is.focus.systemElementMandE outcomes and impacts
is.focus.systemElementMandE performance monitoring
is.identifier.schemeNameForest Stewardship Council
is.identifier.schemeTypeVoluntary Sustainability Standards
is.item.reviewStatusPeer reviewed