FSC blocks Brazilian company

Close-up of charcoal
July 26, 2022

FSC has blocked Califórnia Biomassa Ltda (IMA-COC-148623) for failing to justify a potential volume mismatch that emerged during the transaction verification loop (TV loop) on FSC-certified charcoal conducted by Assurance Services International (ASI).

According to FSC’s normative procedure on TV loops and the FSC Advice Note 18, all certificate holders are mandated to respond to requests for data and documentation made by their certification bodies (who act on requests from ASI). Failure to respond to these requests is a violation of certification requirements, and certificate holders who do not comply will face serious consequences.    

Califórnia Biomassa was a part of the ongoing TV loop on FSC-certified charcoal that is being conducted by ASI on behalf of FSC. During the first phase of this TV loop, ASI found potential volume mismatches in Califórnia Biomassa’s 2019 transactions of FSC-certified charcoal.

Despite repeated requests issued by Imaflora (the concerned certification body), Califórnia Biomassa failed to respond to a request for supporting invoice documentation to support their volume declarations. As a result of Califórnia Biomassa’s non-compliance, its FSC certificate was suspended by Imaflora in September 2021.

Volume mismatch is a serious integrity concern for FSC, and when a certificate holder does not provide clarifications, FSC considers such a non-compliance to be indicative of a deliberate action. Thus, FSC used the data provided by this company during the first phase of the TV loop and determined that there is evidence of false claims, thereby blocking the company from the FSC system.

Based on this assessment, FSC has blocked Califórnia Biomassa from its system for 30 months.

Any company that is blocked by FSC cannot seek recertification and it can no longer make an FSC claim on its products or use the FSC trademark. For more details about the meaning and implications of blockage due to false claims, please refer to FSC Advice Note 18, in pages 25 – 39 of this document.

The ongoing TV loop on FSC-certified charcoal will be completed by the end of 2022, and the final results will be shared in the first quarter of 2023.