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Because of the association of the forest sector in Russia and Belarus with armed invasion, no FSC-certified material or controlled wood from these countries will be permitted to be traded.

FSC remains deeply concerned about Russia’s aggressive invasion of Ukraine and stands in solidarity with all victims of this violence. With a full commitment to FSC’s mission and standards, and after a thorough analysis of the potential impact of the withdrawal of FSC certification, the FSC International Board of Directors has agreed to suspend all trading certificates in Russia and Belarus and to block all controlled wood sourcing from the two countries. This means that all certificates in Russia and Belarus that allow the sale or promotion of FSC products are suspended. In addition, all sourcing of controlled forest products from the two countries is blocked. This means that once this suspension and blockage become effective, wood and other forest products can no longer be sourced as FSC-certified or controlled from Russia and Belarus for their inclusion in FSC products anywhere in the world.FSC will continue to closely monitor the situation and is ready to take additional measures to protect the integrity of its system.

“All our thoughts are with Ukraine and its people, and we share their hopes for a return to peace. We also express our sympathy with those people in Belarus and Russia who do not want this war,” said FSC Director General, Kim Carstensen.

To continue to protect forests in Russia, FSC will allow forest management certificate holders in Russia the option of maintaining their FSC certification of forest management, but no permission to trade or sell FSC-certified timber. Carstensen explained: ‘We must act against aggression; at the same time, we must fulfill our mission of protecting forests. We believe that stopping all trade in FSC-certified and controlled materials, and at the same time maintaining the option of managing forests according to FSC standards, fulfills both these needs.

Note: Last week, ASI announced the termination of accreditation scopes in Belarus due to non-conformance with FSC’s core labor requirements and risks to the safety of people involved in audits. This termination was based on an investigation that preceded the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Note: This decision becomes effective within 30 days from the publication of the revised Controlled Wood Risk Assessments for Russia and Belarus later today, which is by the 8th of April 2022.