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Proof of evidence for the procurement of wood
from sustainable forestry


The demand for products from sustainable forestry and the relating environmentally-conscious handling with natural resources is increasing and the private end consumer are following this trend, but this topic is becoming increasingly important also in the public procurement.

Therefore, following the example of the administrative regulation procurement and environment - VwVBU, the so-called “Berlin Model”, the federal ministries have now also agreed on concrete procurement directives to guarantee a sustainable forestry. 

Legal background

On 6 October 2017, the federal ministries involved in the decree have published a revised version to the “Guideline to the common decree on the procurement of wood products of 22 December 2010” (“Procurement decree for wood products”).

In the case of public construction work, wood with a value of EUR 2,000 or more can only be purchased from sustainable and legal forestry. A corresponding evidence can be made in two different ways:
  1. Chain-of-Custody-Zertifikat (CoC) in the form of a product certification by the systems FSC® or PEFC™ or an equivalent certificate.
  2. Individual verification rendered by unrelated third parties.
The bidder must present a self-declaration when submitting a quotation in which is stated how the proof of sustainability is provided. This form of verification management is also used in procurement specifications for countries as well as for building certification (e.g. DGNB).

What is an individual verification?

An individual verification is a proof of origin of wood products, which are directly related to a specific order and is necessary for each individual procurement process.

Why do I need an individual verification?

An evidence for legal and sustainable wood procurement is precondition for the involvement in tenders of construction projects in the public sector. If an enterprise is not certified (e.g. by FSC or PEFC), the submission of an individual verification for the concrete construction project can make an participation possible.

Which companies are suitable for an individual verification?

An individual verification is a cost-effective and effective alternative of verification management for not certified companies. Especially smaller companies at the end of the processing chain, such as trade and service industries, benefit from this. Particularly in the case of rare contracts for the public sector, a more complex certification is not absolutely necessary and the involvement in tendering is still possible.

Proof is required if the value of goods exceeds EUR 2,000 per procurement process.

For whom is the Chain-of-Custody (CoC) certificate suitable?

A CoC certificate is suitable for manufacturer that are receiving many order in the sense of these procurement specifications and/or want to advertise officially with the trademarks FSC® or PEFC™. Such a CoC certificate can already amortize the investments with 5 invitation to tenders, depending on the order volume and company size.

What information does an individual verification contain?

The following criteria must be defined in the incoming goods inspection:

Quantitative purchase

The ordered quantities of wood or wood products (running meter, area, volume, etc.) must correspond to the order.

Time-related purchase

Order and delivery must contain a time-related reference to the order.

Content-related purchase

Wood or wood products must be assigned to the order according to various criteria (e.g. type of wood / product).


Application of an individual verification for a particular order?

The individual verification can be requested at ift Rosenheim in order to fulfil the obligation to provide evidence to public clients after being awarded and prior to installation of the wood products. You will receive preparatory documents for document checking. An on-site inspection is necessary in individual cases. A confirmation will be issued after the relevant data has been checked and you will receive a test certificate within a few days. The costs depend on the effort and number of items to be audited.

Florian Stich

Florian Stich

Certification & Surveillance Body
+49 8031 261-0

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