The Procurement Criteria for Timber prefers wood products that are sustainable and legal. If sustainably produced products are not available, they at least have to be from legal sources. To help implement this policy, the Dutch government established the Timber Procurement Assessment System (TPAS). TPAS seeks to provide assurance to national and local government institutions that the wood products they purchase meet the government sustainability and legality requirements. The Timber Procurement Assessment Commitment (TPAC) is a body within the TPAS to provide guidance to assess evidence of compliance. TPAC is also responsible for evaluating evidence of compliance provided by forest certification systems and other verification systems.
Geographical Areas of Interest
Supply Chain Focus
Criteria requires evidence that Chain of custody systems are in place in each step of the supply chain. The Criteria also requires that each organization in the supply chain maintains contacts and records of their trade transactions.
The Dutch government has set up a Timber Procurement Assessment System (TPAS) to assess the evidence of compliance. Forest management certification systems can be used as evidence of compliance, as well as first, second, and third-party verification systems. For certification, TPAC has evaluated a number of systems. As of November 2010, FSC and PEFC, except MTCS, are accepted as evidence of compliance with the Dutch procurement policy.
Criteria includes compliance with relevant international, national and/or regional/local legislation and regulations. In particular, the Criteria highlight the following: legal rights to use forests, respect and payment of taxes, fees and royalties, compliance with forest management laws and regulations (including international agreements such as CITES), and respect of indigenous and local tenure and use rights.
The Criteria includes principles and criteria to maintain and enhance biodiversity, including the protection of special forests (see Question 4), as well as protected and endangered species. The Criteria does not accept wood from converted areas, except when conversion occurs under justified exceptional circumstances such as a natural disaster. The Criteria accepts wood from plantations if they were established before 1997, and if at least 5% of the plantation is allowed to re-grow as natural forests. The Criteria prefer plantations made up of native species, and it does not accept genetically modified organisms. The Criteria requires that forest management maintains and, to the degree possible, enhances the vitality of the forests in terms of protection of soil and water resources, use of fires, and use of reduced-impact logging. The Criteria also requires that the SFM is implemented through a system that includes periodic monitoring, expert knowledge, and stakeholder involvement.
Unique Forest Values
Requires that areas of high ecological value and representative of the forest types that occur within the forest management unit are identified, inventoried and protected.
The Criteria requires that the interests of directly and indirectly involved stakeholders should be taken into account. Specifically, the Criteria requires that tenure and use rights are respected, stakeholders are consulted, and that the forest management plan, and relevant information, are publicly available. The Criteria also includes specifications for safety, health and labor conditions.
The Criteria requires that avoidable damage to the ecosystem be prevented, by applying suitable methods and techniques for logging and infrastructure building. The Criteria allows the use of chemicals only if the use of ecological processes and ecological alternatives are proven to be insufficient. It does not allow the use of class 1A and 1B pesticides, as defined by the World Health Organization, and or chlorinated hydrocarbons.
The Criteria requires that the forest management system at a minimum maintains important ecological cycles, such as carbon.