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Guidelines focus on Chain of Custody systems in South East Asian countries

2 November 2012

A new guide outlines measures to achieve credible timber certification in Association of South East Asian (ASEAN) countries. A particular emphasis is placed on Chain of Custody (CoC) procedures, a method of keeping rigorous documentation to provide assurance that wood products originate from sustainably managed forests. A good CoC system transparently shows the timber supply chain as timber is transferred from one custodian – be it harvester, processer, transporter, etc. - to the consumer.

To achieve verification of legality and forest certification, it was deemed that a proper CoC system is necessary. The guide, titled “Guidelines for Chain of Custody for Legal Timber and Sustainable Timber”, contains separate sections on legality and sustainability in CoC systems, as sustainability presents requirements beyond legal compliance. To produce the guide, currently available CoC systems were reviewed along with available implementation guidance.

Acknowledging the potential complexity of timber supply chains, the guide delves into each possible stage in-depth, outlining required labeling and storage. CoC building blocks and principles are also examined, as well as how to identify and manage critical control points. In addition to ASEAN, the document was developed by The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, the Korea Forest Service, Responsible Asia Forestry and Trade, and the Korea-Indonesia Forest Center.

To view the guide, click here.