Following an extensive investigation into Paulownia supply chains, FSC has taken initial action against a number of companies that were found to have traded non-certified Paulownia as FSC certified. These companies are subject to termination or suspension of their trademark licenses or further investigations.
Through this action, FSC demonstrates that its highest priority is the integrity of its brandmark distinguishing responsibly procured wood and wood-based products. By thoroughly investigating suspected violations, FSC acts to ensure that the companies found to misuse the FSC label cease doing so and are otherwise penalized.
An investigation involving Assurance Services International (ASI) into FSC chain of custody certified companies trading in Paulownia products revealed that four companies had sourced uncertified Paulownia and were selling it as FSC certified. Three of these certificates have now been suspended, and one has been terminated. Further investigations involving other companies are still ongoing and may lead to additional suspensions.
Suspended companies now must introduce specific actions to correct their wrongdoings by a given date or face immediate termination. Until suspended companies have been cleared of wrongdoing, they cannot use the FSC trademark or FSC license. Companies with certificates that have been or will be terminated as a result of this investigation are automatically expelled from the system and will no longer be allowed to trade with an FSC license.