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FSC suspends two certificate holders following investigation

In 2018, an incident was filed by a stakeholder in which two FSC chain of custody certificate holders , B & M Noble Co. dba DuChateau (DuChateau) and Zhejiang Yuhua Timber Co., Ltd., (Yuhua), were alleged of making false claims.

The incident was appraised and immediate steps taken to determine the veracity of the allegations and collect more evidence. Due to continued risk of false claims, a transaction verification process was started for the two certificate holders.

The transaction verification process showed a significant mismatch in the amount of certified material claimed as sold by Yuhua to the volume of the same product claimed as purchased by DuChateau. The volume claimed as sold was much less than the quantity claimed as purchased. This evidence suggests that there was a large volume of product purchased by DuChateau that was not validly certified. The mismatched volume was packaged by Yuhua with an FSC on-product label and sold as FSC 100% certified flooring by DuChateau.

Based on the transaction verification results, assessments were conducted at both companies. Invoices and annual volume summaries were reviewed, and it was concluded that both companies were responsible for false claims on products and in sales invoices. To protect the credibility of the FSC system, and given the large volume of products carrying false claims, FSC suspended both certificate holders’ trademark license agreements on 21 May 2018.