Demonstrate that your wood and timber products meet the import requirements of the United States Lacey Act and the European Union Timber Regulation with SCS timber legality verification. Our Legal Harvest™ program verifies timber legality, and is a tangible first step toward a more comprehensive environmental and social responsibility standard such as FSC Forest Management or FSC Chain of Custody.
SCS is internationally recognized, with nearly three decades of third-party environmental certification experience on six continents, including forest management and chain of custody for timber products. Our dedicated professional staff will guide you through the certification process with fast and reliable service.
Robert J. Hrubes, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President
Director, Forest Management Certification
View benefits of timber legality verification
Timber legality verification under the SCS Legal Harvest program is available to individual organizations (forest managers, sawmills, pulp mills, secondary manufacturers, distributors, and retailers), groups of associated organizations or entire supply chains worldwide.
In addition, SCS provides certification to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards, carbon footprint measurement and verification and carbon offset verification. Wood products may also qualify for SCS Recycled Content, SCS Indoor Advantage indoor air quality or SCS CARB Formaldehyde Compliance (CARB ATCM) certification.
The SCS Legal Harvest Verification program is designed for responsible companies who are looking for a systematic way of demonstrating 'due care' in sourcing forest products with the goal of eliminating illegally harvested wood from their supply. SCS Legal Harvest provides recognition for companies once they have met necessary program requirements towards achieving that goal.
There is no existing standard or program that would assure a company's compliancy with the Lacey Act. The law does not clearly specify what constitutes 'due care,' nor does it exempt companies who practice due care from penalties if they are found in violation of the law. What is clear is that companies will need to have a system in place for collecting information on their wood supplies and documenting actions taken to reduce the likelihood of trading in illegal product. The SCS Legal Harvest Verification program provides such a system and is an "off the shelf" program, designed by forest certification leaders who know the forest management and forest products manufacturing industries affected by this law.
Assessments at the forest level under SCS Legal Harvest Verification are essentially identical to that of Verified Legal Origin (VLO) - both assess the forest management entity's legal right to harvest. However, LHV goes a step further, including a more robust standard for timber product companies that are further down the supply chain from the forest of harvest. Compliance to the Legal Harvest Verification Standard will help protect your company from inadvertent violation of the US Lacey Act or the EU Due Diligence Regulation. Using this rigorous standard could save your company from negative publicity and stiff government fines.
The U.S. amended the Lacey Act in 2008 to prohibit trade in illegally harvested plants and plant products. The amendment pertains to interstate domestic trade and the import of plant products into the US.
The European Union Timber Regulation will go into effect in 2013. Currently, the EU has minimum due diligence requirements to keep illegal timber out of the European market.
The Swiss Declaration Requirement, passed in 2011, requires companies to declare species and country of origin.
Australia has a draft bill titled Illegal Logging Prohibition. If approved, the bill will go into effect this year.
The Lacey Act was first enacted in 1900 and prohibits illegal harvest and U.S. trade of certain animals and plants. In May 2008, the U.S. Congress expanded the Lacey Act to cover illegal harvesting and trade of any wild member of the plant kingdom (excluding common food crops), most notably trees and wood products. The purpose of this change is to eliminate imports of illegally harvested wood into the United States of America.
Three types of penalties are levied based on the severity of the infraction and level of 'due care' employed by the importing company or individual: Civil Penalties - fines up to US$10,000, Criminal Penalties - fines up to US$500,000 and five years imprisonment, Forfeiture - confiscation of the products
Due care is a U.S. legal term that refers to "that degree of care which a reasonably prudent person would exercise under the same or similar circumstances. As a result, it is applied differently to different categories of persons with varying degrees of knowledge and responsibility." (Senate Report 97-123)
Enforcing agencies include the USDA-APHIS, Department of Fish and Wildlife, Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Homeland Security. These agencies will gather information and investigate based on the likelihood of a violation. It is likely that higher-risk countries and species will be more closely watched. Additionally, many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) will be taking an active role by doing their own investigations and providing evidence to the enforcement agencies.
Current SCS LegalHarvest™ Verification clients are listed below. Copies of verification statements and summary reports are available by clicking on the links provided.
Please click here for a listing of all Timber Legality Verification System (SVLK) clients that are verified or that are undergoing evaluation.
|City:||Gangkou Town, Zhongshan City|
|Products:||Face Veneer, Plywood, Flooring|
|Species:||Acer negundo, Betula platyphylla, Quercus mongolica var. grossesenata, Eucalyptus delglupta|
|Products:||Sawn Timber and Dimensional lumber (2S & 4S), Decking, Flooring, Siding, and Railroad Ties|
|Species:||Astronium spp., Dinizia excels Ducke, Mezilaurus iatuba (Meiss.) Taub., Manilkara spp., Hymenolobium spp., Bagassa guianensis Aubl., Dipteryx odorata Willd., Hymenaea courbaril Linn., Caryocar villosum Pers., Tabebuia serratifollia (Vahl) Rolfe Nichols.|
|Products:||Decks e pavimento de espécies listadas comercializável.|
|Species:||Hymenolobium spp., Dinizia excels Ducke, Erisma spp., Dipteryx odorata Willd., Goupia glabra, Enterolobium schomburgii, Qualea paraensis ducke, Vochysia maxima, Mezilaurus iatuba (Meiss.) Taub., Hymenaea courbaril Linn., Manilkara spp., Caryocar villosum Pers., Bowdichia brasiliensis, BUCHENAVIA PARVIFOLIA , PIPTADENIA GONOACANTHA|
|Products:||Logs, Sawn Timber and Planed Timer (2S and 4S), Decking and Flooring|
|Species:||Garapa - Apuleia leiocarpa (Vogel), Muiracatiara - Astronium lecointei Ducke, Tatajuba - Bagassa guianensis Aubl., Andiroba – Carapa guianensis Aubl., Cedro - Cedrela odorata, Freijó - Cordia goeldiana Huber, Tauari - Cariniana micrantha Ducke., Angelim vermelho - Dinizia excelsa Ducke, Cumaru - Dipteryx odorata (Aubl.) Willd., Jarana - Holopyxidium jarana (Huber) Duke, Jatobá - Hymenaea courbaril L., Maçaranduba - Manilkara huberi (Ducke) Chevalier., Itaúba - Mezilaurus itauba (Meisn.) Taub.ex Mez., Currupixá - Micropholis sp., Louro - Ocotea rubra Mez., Faveira - Parkia oppositifolia Spruce ex Benth., Goiabão - Pouteria pachycarpa Pires., Marupá - Simarouba amara Aubl., Ipê - Tabebuia serratifolia (Vahl) Nichols., Acapu - Voucapoua americana Aubl., Melancieira - Alexa grandiglora Ducke.|