FSC launches investigation into certified African teak

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Wood grain texture
iStock.com / duncan1890
July 7, 2023

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), in association with Assurance Services International (ASI), are launching a transaction verification (TV) loop on FSC-certified supply chains of Afrormosia, also known as African Teak. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) lists Afrormosia as an endangered African tree species, and it is prone to being logged illegally.

FSC and ASI have received concerns from a number of stakeholders about possible integrity risks in the FSC-certified Afrormosia supply chain. In response, this TV loop will examine trading patterns and the volume of timber that is harvested in FSC-certified forests and finally sold as finished products. Thus, all the actors in the supply chain, namely forest management companies, primary processors, secondary processors, brokers/ traders with and without physical possession are included in the scope of this TV loop.

In this TV loop, all 172 FSC certificate holders who have Afrormosia (Pericopsis elata) in their certification scope have to submit their transaction data – certified sales and purchases – for the period of January to December 2022. The TV loop covers certificate holders from all over the world and includes all types of FSC-certified products made from Afrormosia. This TV loop is being combined with forest inventory fraud investigations at the logging sites of certificate holders.

While Cameroon and the Republic of Congo are the primary logging sites, Europe and North America are the main consumer markets of FSC-certified Afrormosia products such as flooring, and furniture items like cabinets.


TV loop timeline

On 7 July 2023, along with the announcement about the launch of the Afrormosia TV loop, ASI will conduct an interactive webinar for certification bodies about the scope of this TV loop on 14 July. On 7 August 2023, the certification bodies will inform their certificate holders about their participation and the requirements of this TV loop. Between 7 August – 7 September 2023, the certificate holders within the scope of this TV loop will submit the requested data to their certification bodies. ASI will complete the first phase of this TV loop – data collection and analysis – by the first quarter of 2024.​