TTF News
Due Diligence in Action: Spotting Fake Documents and Expired Certificates
8th September 2017

Due Diligence in Action: Spotting Fake Documents and Expired Certificates

Documents and certificates are often presented in Due Diligence systems as evidence of full risk mitigation. In an ideal world, where the authenticity of these documents was guaranteed, this would be sufficient. But whatÕs to stop your supplier from forging and/or using invalid and expired documents and certificates?

Part of any good Due Diligence System, as legally required under the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), should be attention to detail when checking documents/certificates for signs of forgery or expired dates. There is now an increased focus on trying to promote increased vigilance in the area and below are some key resources:

Fake Documents: How to spot them and what to do about them

NEPCon have, this month, published an in-depth article with examples of forged documents and highlighting practical ways to distinguish between genuine and fake ones. It also provides advice on what to do if you think you have been given a fake document by a supplier.

Check your Certificates: FSC and PEFC

The TTF have produced a brief blog post outlining the key ways of checking the validity and authenticity of FSC and PEFC documents and certificates. One key piece of feedback we have received from the RPP audits so far, is that members are not always checking the validity of certificates received under third party certification schemes. We hope that this post will encourage members to make use of the document checking tools provided by FSC and PEFC.

Whilst it may be the case that the vast majority of documents provided are legitimate and valid, there are certain, high risk regions and supply chains that may require greater vigilance in these matters. Due Diligence is about taking mitigation measures appropriate to the degree of risk in a supply chain and so, for many chains, this extra level of checks may be unnecessary, but for others it will be essential.