Public consultation on the PEFC Chain of Custody standard, PEFC ST 2002:2013

PEFC ST 2002:2013 CoC Standard


The PEFC Council (the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes) is the worldwide organisation promoting sustainable forest management through forest certification and labelling of forest based products. Products with the PEFC claim and / or label deliver confidence to customers and the end consumers that raw material originates in sustainably managed forests, recycled material, and/or controlled sources.

The PEFC Council provides endorsement of national forest certification schemes which are required to comply with the PEFC Council requirements subject to regular evaluations.

This standard had been developed in an open, transparent, consultative and consensus based process covering a broad range of stakeholders.

This standard replaces PEFC ST 2002:2010.

This standard was editorially updated in December 2015, in order to reflect the extension of PEFC’s exclusion of GMO material from the PEFC certified supply chain.


The PEFC claims made on forest based products provide information relating to the origin of those forest based products from sustainably managed forest and recycled sources and other controlled sources. PEFC certification also covers health, safety and labour related requirements. “PEFC Controlled Sources” address the risk of using products from controversial sources, including legality aspects. Purchasers and potential purchasers can use this information in choosing the product based on sustainability, as well as other considerations. The aim of communicating the raw material’s origin is to encourage demand for and supply of those products originating in sustainably managed forests and thereby stimulating the potential for market-driven continuous improvement of management of the world’s forest resource.

The overall goal of the PEFC chain of custody is to provide customers of forest based products with accurate and verifiable information on the content of material originating in PEFC certified, sustainably managed forests, recycled material and controlled sources.

1 Scope

This standard covers the requirements to implement a chain of custody for forest based products.

These chain of custody requirements describe a process of how to get from the information about the origin associated with the procured raw material to the information about the origin which is attached to the organisation’s products. This standard specifies two optional approaches for chain of custody, namely the physical separation method and the percentage based method.

This standard also specifies the minimum management system requirements for the implementation and management of the chain of custody process. An organisation’s quality (ISO 9001:2008) or environmental management system (ISO 14001:2004) may be used to implement the minimum requirements for the management system defined in this standard.

In addition this standard includes minimum requirements on health, safety and labour issues.

The chain of custody shall be used in connection with the definition of specific PEFC claim(s) (“X% PEFC Certified” and “PEFC Controlled Sources”) or claims of PEFC endorsed forest certification schemes, which include criteria for the recognition of certified material. The core part of the standard therefore defines the chain of custody process using the generic terms  “certified, neutral and other material”, while the content of those terms specific for an individual claim is defined in an Appendix to this standard.

The usage of claims and relating labels, as a result of implementation of the chain of custody, is based on ISO 14020:2000 that shall be followed by the users of this standard. Consideration of recycled material within the chain of custody is based on the requirements of ISO/IEC 14021:1999 that shall be followed by the users of this standard.

The labelling of products is considered as an optional communication tool which may be incorporated into the organisations chain of custody process(es). Where the organisation decides to apply the on-product or off-product labelling, the requirements for the usage of a label, including those set up by the owner of the label are becoming an integral part of chain of custody requirements.

This standard shall be implemented for the purposes of third party conformity assessment based on requirements defined by the PEFC Council or PEFC endorsed forest certification schemes. The conformity assessment is considered as product certification and shall follow ISO/IEC 17065

The term “shall” is used throughout this standard to indicate those provisions that are mandatory. The term “should” is used to indicate those provisions which, although not mandatory, are expected to be adopted and implemented. The term “may” used throughout this standard indicates permission expressed by this standard whereas “can” refers to the ability of a user of this standard or to a possibility open to the user.

2 Normative references

The following referenced documents are indispensable for the application of this standard. For both dated and undated references, the latest edition of the referenced document (including any amendment) applies.

PEFC ST 2001:2008, PEFC Logo usage rules – Requirements

PEFC ST 2003:2012, Requirements for Certification Bodies operating Certification against the PEFC International Chain of Custody Standard

ISO/IEC Guide 2:2004, Standardization and related activities -- General vocabulary

ISO 9000:2005, Quality management systems -- Fundamentals and vocabulary

ISO 9001:2008, Quality management systems -- Requirements

ISO 14001:2004, Environmental management systems -- Requirements with guidance for use

ISO/IEC 14020:2000, Environmental labels and declarations -- General principles

ISO/IEC 14021:1999, Environmental labels and declarations -- Self-declared environmental claims (Type II environmental labelling)

ISO 19011:2011, Guidelines for  auditing  management systems

ISO/IEC Guide 65:1996, General requirements for bodies operating product certification systems[1]

ISO/IEC 17065, Conformity assessment – Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services[2]

EN 643:2001, Paper and board – European list of standard grades of recovered paper and board


[1] The transition period for the transfer from ISO Guide 65:1996 to ISO/IEC 17065:2012 is completed on 15 September 2015. During the transition period the reference to both standard is possible.

[2] The transition period for the transfer from ISO Guide 65:1996 to ISO/IEC 17065:2012 is completed on 15 September 2015. During the transition period the reference to both standards is possible.