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More blocks to Russian trade, so Russia hits back

The FSC International Board of Directors confirmed that it will suspend all trading certificates in Russia and Belarus and block all controlled wood sourcing from both countries. Source: Timberbiz

Controlled wood (CW) requirements explicitly require an assessment of whether a country’s forest sector is associated with armed violent conflict as listed in Indicator 2.1 of CW category 2 of FSC-PRO-002a: “2.1. The forest sector is not associated with violent armed conflict, including that which threatens national or regional security and/or is linked to military control.”

FSC concluded that a strong association between the forest sector and government exists in Russia and Belarus. Combined with their government’s military action, ‘specified risk’ had to be concluded.

FSC further concluded that this risk cannot be mitigated by any other control measure except to altogether avoid source material from these areas.

In the case of Russia and Belarus, with the introduction of this Advice Note, within 30 days (by 8 April 2022) all certificates, except for forest management (with no trading of certified products), will have to be suspended for the time being.

Russia has hit back at the sanctions imposed by a huge number of companies and industries including forestry and forestry equipment by banning exports of forestry products and other goods to western nations. There are more than 200 items listed and according to Reuters these include forestry products, but which forestry products have not been specified.

UPM has suspended purchasing wood in and from Russia as well as halting its UPM Chudovo plywood mill operations. This means that UPM is neither purchasing wood from Russia nor delivering to Russia.

Meanwhile John Deere has also announced that it will suspend shipments of its machines to Russia and Belarus.