Timber Legality Verification - Legal Harvest™
Third-Party Verification of Wood Product Sources
What is Timber Legality Verification - Legal Harvest™ ?
Increasing awareness of the impacts of deforestation and their contribution to climate change are fueling oversight by governments and scrutiny by NGOs. SCS Legal Harvest Verification provides third-party confirmation of the legal right to harvest, process, transport, and export wood products. Verification is available to forest managers, sawmills, pulp mills, secondary manufacturers, traders and distributors, retailers, and others in wood products supply chains. It integrates key aspects of wood product legality requirements from around the world into one standard, so you can be assured that your company has the documentation and evidence needed to uphold the traceability and legality of your timber sourcing. Legal Harvest is applicable to Forest Management and Chain of Custody operations, as well as groups and entities and multi-sites. The scheme helps companies demonstrate compliance with the US Lacey Act, European Union Timber Regulation, Australia Illegal Logging Prohibition Act, and other regulations that require the legal procurement of wood products. Verification helps companies mitigate supply chain risks, reinforce investor and customer confidence, and maintain a competitive market presence.
Why Choose SCS?
SCS is a leading third-party certification body with 40 years of experience certifying environmental and sustainability claims. We are focused on customer service and can contract with companies, deploy auditors to the field and make certification decisions faster than the competition. Our forestry certifications pre-date the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). As one of the FSC’s original 3 certifiers, we are one of the most respected certification bodies throughout the world for integrity, scientific rigor, and true independence. With auditors throughout the globe, we have certified more than 3000 wood product companies worldwide. SCS’ LegalHarvest™ verification is applicable for Forest Management, Chain of Custody and Multi-Sites. Through its focus on timber traceability and legality verification, the scheme helps companies mitigate supply chain risks, reinforce investor and customer confidence, and maintain a competitive market presence. Verification confirms the legal right to harvest, process, transport, and export wood products, no matter where your operations are located. It also demonstrates your compliance with the US Lacey Act, the European Union Timber Regulation, the Australia Illegal Logging Prohibition Act, and other similar requirements. We encourage our clients to use the Legal Harvest Verification logo in order to further help their verified products stand out.
- Program Details
- Program Documents
LegalHarvest™ Verification is available to forest managers, sawmills, pulp mills, secondary manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and groups of associated organizations as well as entire supply chains.
LegalHarvest™ Verification Options
- Forest Managers: For forest management organizations to make timber legality claims on their forest operations. We conduct field audits to verify your documentation against your on-the-ground practices.
- Timber Manufacturers and Traders: For wood product manufacturers and traders who want to demonstrate that their wood products are legally sourced. SCS verifies documentation and procedures through chain of custody audits in order to identify and track wood products throughout the supply chain. Upstream suppliers and forests may be included in the audit.
- Groups and Multi-Sites: For a group of entities or sites who want to demonstrate the legality of the entire group. This option is most applicable to organizations that manage and oversee large networks. Examples include large corporations with many sites performing similar operations, business associations, trade federations, and capacity-building or consulting organizations.
In addition, SCS provides certification to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards, verifies carbon footprints, and conducts Carbon Offset Verification. Wood products may also qualify for SCS Recycled Content, Indoor Air Quality, or Formaldehyde Emissions Regulations (CARB/EPA RULE) certification.
SCS can help identify potential gaps and map supply chains within the scope of the assessment.
The SCS assessment team reviews all submitted documentation – such as management plans, licenses, tax receipts, operating procedures, and transport records – to ensure that the applicant and audit team are prepared for the assessment.
During the on-site visit, an SCS auditor reviews quality procedures, documentation, and records, tours harvesting areas and processing facilities, and conducts interviews with staff and regulatory authorities.
SCS provides a complete report, detailing all observations and findings for each requirement of the standard.
An SCS technical associate reviews the report, validating the appropriateness of the auditor's methodology and conclusions.
Once the report is finalized, SCS makes a verification decision. Successful clients are issued a LegalHarvest™ Verification Statement. If verification is granted, your organization is registered on the SCS Forestry Certificates Directory as a program participant, and you receive label and language use guidelines and other materials to assist in marketing communications.
Annual surveillance audits are required to maintain verification.
Why should I get LegalHarvest™ Verified?
The LegalHarvest™ standard was developed by SCS based on decades of expertise in wood product legality verification, forest management and chain of custody. It integrates key aspects of wood product legality requirements from around the world into one standard, so you can be assured that your company has the documentation and evidence needed to uphold the traceability and legality of your timber sourcing, no matter where your operations are located.
How Does LegalHarvest™ Help You Demonstrate Timber Legality Compliance?
Only governments can determine whether you are in compliance with their laws. LegalHarvest™ verification will provide your organization with valuable documentation and tools to uphold the legality of your products to government authorities.
How much does LegalHarvest™ Verification Cost?
Costs vary depending on the location, size, and complexity of your operations and supply chain. Please contact us for a custom quote and to determine if LegalHarvest™ Verification is right for you.
Why Choose SCS?
SCS Global Services has been a leader in wood product legality verifications, responsible forestry management and chain of custody assessments for three decades. SCS has auditors all over the world, and can design a coordinated effort to verify your timber sourcing and trading operation in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
|Application - Forest Conservation Program
|LegalHarvest Verification - Chain of Custody
|English | Spanish
|LegalHarvest Verification - Forest Assessment
|English | Spanish
|LegalHarvest Verification - Multi-Site Assessment
|LegalHarvest™ Verification - Forest Assessment Adapted for Costa Rica
|Timber Legality Verification Brochure
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