Mangifera and Dalbergia investigation reveals integrity concerns in India
The final results of the Mangifera and Dalbergia wood species transaction verification loop (TV loop) highlight a number of supply chain integrity concerns pertaining to FSC certificate holders, specifically from India. The main findings include fraudulent documentation and large volumes of false claims.
FSC has blocked the following companies as a result of this TV loop and in accordance with normative provisions for dealing with false claims (ADV-40-004-18):
Village Impex: SA-COC-008289, terminated and blocked
Sambhav Timber and Handicraft: SCS-COC-006449, terminated and blocked
Patel Veneers: SCS-COC-004429, terminated and blocked
FSC and its assurance partner, Assurance Services International (ASI), launched a TV loop on FSC-certified Mangifera spp. and Dalbergia spp. supply chains from all over the world, in July 2020. Based on the preliminary results of the transaction data analysis, ASI identified seven high-risk supply chain clusters originating in India.
An investigation of these supply chain clusters revealed that:
- Several Indian certificate holders trading in FSC-certified wood from these two species have made false FSC claims in their transactions. The volume of FSC-certified timber declared by the FM/COC* (forest management/chain of custody) certificate holders does not match the volume of wood that has been used by chain of custody certificate holders.
- In the supply chains originating in India, there is a high risk of non-eligible timber being sold with FSC claims because only one FM/COC certificate holder from India has these two species of wood in their certification scope.
- Some certificate holders created fraudulent transaction documents which are indicative of potential false claims.
According to FSC’s database on certificate holders, there are few FM/COC certificate holders with Mangifera and Dalbergia in their certification scope. Therefore, certificate holders belonging to the two supply chains of these two wood species need to implement strong due diligence measures when selecting their timber sourcing partners – both, for FSC certified timber and FSC controlled wood and controlled material.
Based on the findings of this TV loop, ASI has recommended that a number of Indian companies as well as certificate holders from other countries are blocked from the FSC system. In addition to the companies already blocked, FSC is assessing ASI’s recommendations about blocking the other companies who have intentionally violated FSC requirements. FSC will take strong action against such companies to ensure that the integrity of the FSC system is not harmed.
ASI has also provided recommendations about changes required in FSC’s normative documents to strengthen supply chain integrity and address the gaps that have emerged in the system from this TV loop.
*FM/COC: This is one type of FSC certification which includes management of forest concessions and permission to sell timber harvested from these concessions with 100% FSC claim.
Advice Note 18 (ADV-40-004-18) is available on page 30 of this document.