PEFC - ensure origin

Certification in accordance with PEFC CoC Regulations

Controlled processing chain for timber, printing and paper products
Wood that is produced in PEFC-certified forests should make its way to the customer with the PEFC mark: The consumers include panel plants, pulp plants, paper plants, printers and publishers. Therefore the harvesting, trading and processing chain and retail trade must be certified in order to ensure the raw wood materials are PEFC in origin: PEFC Chain-of-Custody (CoC) or a product chain certification.
High standards are now placed on the players in the forestry sector. Forestry service companies that are engaged in the harvesting of wood, the delivery of this valuable raw material, forest restoration services and forest management can be certified as per an RAL standard of the "Quality control association of forestry and land conservation e.V.". The legal requirements of the business, technical standards, accident prevention regulations and the quality of work are currently evaluated in 3 test areas. The RAL certificate is a prerequisite in some Federal states for participating in calls for tenders in the state forest and serves as credible proof of the quality of work.

Benefits of PEFC certification

PEFC-certified organizations act ethically and demonstrate responsibility towards the environment. The certified wood can be clearly identified at all processing and trading stages at any time. Auditing and certification by TÜV NORD CERT offers real benefits to forestry operations and their partners on the market, for example:

  • Greater trust based on evidence that the requirements of an internationally recognised standard are met
  • Greater acceptance of the wood or wood product on the part of customers and consumers who place a value on proof of sustainable origin
  • Acquisition of new groups of customers who consider the environmental aspect when making purchasing decisions  
  • Use of the PEFC mark as a strong marketing instrument to differentiate from the competition
  • Proof of origin ensures that the wood does not come from controversial sources
  • Sustainability thanks to short transport pathways – which is documented by stating a particular region of origin (e.g. wood from Bavaria).

Questions and Answers on PEFC Certification

What services are on offer?
  • Certification of wood traders, wood processers, paper and printers according to the PEFC chain of custody
  • Certification of regions for sustainable forest management according to the PEFC Standard (Regional forest report)
  • PEFC certification for Christmas tree cultivation in forest areas
  • Certification of forests used for leisure purposes according to PEFC
  • Certification based on the criteria of the German quality association for good forest and landscape management (RAL-Gütegemeinschaft Wald- und Landschaftspflege e. V.) 
For whom is the certification interesting?

Companies working in the timber- or wood fibre-processing industries such as sawmills, the timber trade, furniture producers, paper manufacturers, publishers or printers. Small companies can take advantage of favourable group certification. Combined certification is possible for firms with more than one site, branch or subsidiary. TÜV NORD CERT offers the auditing of joint certificates of all sizes – from regional to global – as well as economic combinations with other certification systems.

PEFC Certification: What happens afterwards?

Following a successful audit with a positive report,  TÜV NORD CERT issues certification for the audited part of the product chain of custody. It is valid for five years, with surveillance audits taking place each year. As TÜV NORD CERT has certification experience in numerous sectors, it can cover many areas on a one-stop basis. Therefore if you wish to achieve certification based on several systems, you can make use of synergy effects which can lead to considerable cost savings. With its extensive network of specialist auditors in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and almost all neighbouring European countries, TÜV NORD CERT can meet your requirements on site in the best possible way.

What are the prerequisites for certification?
  • Selection of the relevant system
    A. Physical separation system: PEFC wood and paper are kept in strict isolation from non-certified material
    B. Percentage system: precisely monitored mixing with wood or wood fibre products from controlled sources
  • Evidences have to be provided regarding purchased PEFC wood or paper products, stock levels and any product losses, together with documentation for PEFC products  sold
  • Evidence of a management system which ensures supplier controls, internal audits and records
What is the target group for the certification?
  • Organizations in the wood and wood fibre processing sectors such as:
    sawmills, wood traders, furniture manufacturing facilities, publishing houses and printers
  • Small organizations can make use of less costly group certification
  • Organizations with several sites, branches or subsidiaries can use multi-site certification.
  • TÜV NORD CERT offers auditing for multi-site certification of all sizes – from regional to global – and also cost-effective combination with other certification systems

The way to the PEFC certificate

Our know-how for your success

With its extensive know-how, TÜV NORD CERT covers many different areas of certification areas in house. if you wish to achieve certification based on several systems, you can make use of synergy effects which can lead to considerable cost savings. With its extensive network of specialist auditors in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and almost all neighbouring European countries, TÜV NORD CERT can meet your requirements on site in the best possible way. Our specialist PEFC department will be pleased to answer your questions at any time.

At the European conference of ministers in Helsinki and subsequent conferences for protecting Europe's forests, the following criteria were decided upon for use on the national level.

  • Preservation and adequate improvement of the forest's resources and their contribution to global carbon cycles
  • Preservation of the health and vitality of forest eco-systems
  • Preservation and promotion of the producing function of the forests (wood and non-wood products)
  • Preservation, protection and adequate improvement of the bio-diversity in forest eco-systems
  • Preservation and adequate improvement of the protective function of forest management (primarily soil and water)
  • Preservation of other socio-economic functions and conditions 

Quality control association of forestry and land conservation e.V.


Further information

The PEFC Regional Label

Wood processing facilities with the PEFC Regional Label have great opportunities in the marketing of wood products which come from a geographically demarcated region (for example “Home-grown wood from Bavaria”. Consumers can also ask specifically for regional products from sustainable forest management. In order to receive a PEFC regional label, the wood has to be felled in a clearly definable region in Germany and it must remain clearly identifiable within the entire production process at all times.

Trustworthy proof of quality work: the RAL standard

Nowadays, strict requirements not only apply to wood trading and processing, but also to the practical side of forestry. Companies providing forestry services by harvesting and transporting the valuable raw material, and also those who care for the forests and undertake reforestation, can apply for certification according to the RAL standard of the German quality association for forestry and care of the landscape -  Gütegemeinschaft Wald- und Landschaftpflege e.V.  Here, fulfilment of legal requirements for forestry management, technical standards and accident prevention regulations, and also the quality of the work itself, are currently assessed within three areas.  In some federal states in Germany, the RAL- certificate is the prerequisite for participation in tenders for work in the state-owned forests, and it always serves as reliable evidence of excellent quality of work. In addition, all PEFC-certified forestry organizations are only permitted to make use of other organizations which are certified to RAL or another standard recognised by PEFC.

Special PEFC certifications for forest owners

Forest owners now have the opportunity to have Christmas tree cultivation certified according to PEFC. With the PEFC Standard for Christmas tree plantations, forest owners are able to demonstrate that their Christmas trees have been grown taking ecological, economic and social aspects into account. And the PEFC certificate for forests used for recreational makes it possible to show your special commitment to those seeking relaxation and regeneration in the forest.

Further information on forest certification


Our experts are glad to answer your individual questions at any time