The development of China Forest Certification System

author:CFCC

China began establishing its national forest certification system, the China Forest Certification System (CFCS),in the 1990s. The system has gone through three major stages of development. 

Initial stage (2001-2008)

CFCS was officially launched in 2001. In 2002, forest certification standard formulation and capacity building activities started. Forest certification pilot projects were implemented during 2003-2006. China’s industry standards for forest management and chain of custody certification were promulgated by the former State Forestry Administration (now the National Forestry and Grassland Administration) in 2007,The Commission of National Sustainable Forest Management and Forest Certification Standardization Technique was established in 2008.

Construction stage (2009-2014)

China Forest Certification Council (CFCC) became one of the national members of PEFC during the construction stage. In 2012, the industry standards were revised and the National Standard Committee issued China’s national forest management and chain of custody certification standards. China officially applied for PEFC’s endorsement of the China Forest Certification System soon after. In 2014, China Forest Certification System was officially endorsed by PEFC. 

Development stage (2015 till now)

A series of documents were promulgated in 2015 including the Forest Certification Regulations, Accreditation Scheme for Forest Certification Bodies, and Auditor Registration Guidelines. The promulgation of those documents established the overall certification framework of the China Forest Certification System. 

In 2017, China’s green product assessment standards were promulgated, and forest certification was required for the assessment of furniture, wooden boards and flooring. 

In 2019, China’s Forest Law was revised. The new Forest Law specifies that forest managers can apply for forest certification voluntarily. 

As of 1May 2020, 9.93 million hectares of forests have been certified by CFCC, accounting for 5% of China’s total forest area. The types of forest that can be certified include natural forests, plantations, and artificial and natural mixed forests. 385 companies received CFCC chain of custody certification and 14 certification bodies are authorized to audit and issue CFCC certificates in China.