Forest management certification in Poland has changed

Forest management certification

A recent decision by Polish State Forests will significantly reduce the availability of FSC-certified material from Polish forests, TDUK has warned its members.

According to a recent statement issued by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), six Regional Directorates of State Forests (RDSFs) have made the decision to discontinue FSC certification in their respective regions, resulting in the exclusion of approximately 2 million hectares of forest in the country from the FSC-certification programme.

This move has raised concerns among some members that other EU countries may follow suit, leading to a possible further decline in FSC-certified supplies from the region.

Previously, roughly two-thirds of the total 9.2 million hectares of forest area in Poland was FSC-certified, with these forests being managed by the RDSF and two Forest Experimental Stations under the University of Poznań.

According to TDUK’s RPP data, in 2020-21, of the total certified timber imports from Poland, where the declared forest origin is in Poland, 30% of the imports were declared to have PEFC certification, while 70% were FSC.

TDUK is currently in dialogue with FSC UK to gather further information, and TDUK members are encouraged to contact TDUK for further information.

Both FSC and PEFC are voluntary certification schemes that promote sustainable forest management and provide additional measures for due diligence under UK and EU Timber Regulation (EUTR and UKTR). Both schemes, in conjunction with Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT)-licensed timber, are recognised under the UK Timber Procurement Policy (TPP).

The TPP requires government procurers to have documentary evidence demonstrating that the timber supplied is from legal and sustainable sources. The selection between FSC and PEFC depends on a company’s specific sustainability objectives and priorities, as well as the market demand for certified products.

We will update members with more information as the situation in Poland progresses.