VFCS stands for Vietnam Forest Certification Scheme. It is a National Forest Certification Scheme set bt a Prime Minister Decision 1288/QD-TTg dated on 1 October 2018. VFCS comprises three parts:

  • Vietnam Forest Certification Office (VFCO) which was established by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, under the Vietnam Forest Science Institute. As the governing body of the system, it operates under the direction of the Steering Committee for Sustainable Forest Management and the Forest Certification of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The Forest Certification Office is the focal point for cooperation with stakeholders in the National Forest Certification System, which is responsible for coordinating activities on sustainable forest management and forest certification including issuing standards for forest certification. system standards and instructions.
  • Bureau of Accreditation (BoA): The Quality Accreditation Office is a member of the IAF, a unit that cooperates with and helps the Forest Certification Office in accrediting and monitoring the activities of the Organizations. certification authority according to the provisions of the national forest certification system.
  • Certification Body (CB-Certification Body): The Certification Body is an organization that assesses and issues certificates of sustainable forest management (FM) and certificate of chain of custody management (CoC) to forest owners and organizations and individuals that produce and process wood and forest products when forest owners and organizations and individuals have plans for forest management; plans to organize production, processing of wood and forest products to ensure compliance with forest management standards of the national forest certification system.

In August 2019, VFCS was recognized and endorsed by international certification organization named “the program for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). VFCS meets all PEFC international standards. The certificates of the VFCS system are internationally valid according to the PEFC certification system.

The VFCS provides the following types of certifications: (1) Certificate of Sustainable Forest Management (FM); (2) Certificate of Chain of Custody (COC); and (3) VFCS will develop additional standards for certifying NTFPs, forest carbon and ecosystem services.

A document issued by a certification organization recognized by VFCO to forest owners and organizations. Accordingly, forest owners and organizations with certified forest areas must fully comply with the requirements of the VFCS/PEFC’s set of sustainable forest management standards. The term of the certificate is 5 years and forest owners and organizations will have to carry out an annual surveillance audit by the certification body to maintain the certificate and ensure that the forest is managed in accordance with sustainable forest management standards. of VFCS.

To be granted a certificate of sustainable forest management VFCS/PEFC, an organization’s forest owner needs to submit an assessment and certification application form to an assessment organization (CB) authorized by VFCS; signed an assessment contract with CB and met the requirements according to the VFCS/PEFC set of sustainable forest management standards.

Sustainable forest management standards (VFCS/PEFC ST 1003:2019) issued in 2019 includes 7 principles as follows:

  • Principle 1. Forest owners comply with the provisions of law and international treaties economy that Vietnam participates in
  • Principle 2. Forest owners respect the rights of communities and local people direction
  • Principle 3. Forest owners ensure workers’ rights and working conditions
  • Principle 4. Forest management, protection, development and use
  • Principle 5. Environmental protection and management in forestry activities
  • Principle 6. Maintain, conserve and enhance biodiversity
  • Principle 7. Forests are monitored, monitored and evaluated according to forest management plans

To be granted a group forest management certificate, the following conditions must be met:

  • There is a group subject representing the Group recognized by law.
  • The group organization has clear regulations on the organization, functions, tasks and management of the Group.
  • All team members comply with the requirements of sustainable forest management according to the VFCS/PEFC ST 1003:2019 Sustainable Forest Management Standards.

A document issued by a certification body recognized by VFCO/PEFC to organizations and individuals to certify that the timber that organizations or individuals trade or use is supplied from certified forests or from controlled sources.

All organizations and businesses operate in the following fields: exploiting and purchasing wood materials; preliminary processing, processing and distribution of wood products should have VFCS/PEFC COC certification for its materials to meet the market requirements.

VFCS uses PEFC’s set of standards in product chain of custody assessment and certification. The standard set in use is VFCS ST 1005:2019. Currently, PEFC has updated the chain of custody standards for products from forests and non-forest trees (PEFC ST 2002:2020) and Certification bodies will have to apply this standard from August 2023.

Participating in forest certification under VFCS/PEFC brings the following benefits: (1) Demonstrating the role and responsibility of enterprises in sustainable production, environmental protection and social responsibility; (2) Ensure that wood and wood products meet the increasing requirements of the market and customers regarding product certification requirements; and (3) Help improve the image of the business to users.

Your businesses and organizations are welcome to become members of VFCS to jointly improve the certification quality and brand of the national forest certification system, and contribute to the sustainable management of forest resources in Vietnam. South and sustainable development.

Organizations can become a Certification Body under VFCS/PEFC when they meet the following conditions: (1) Established in accordance with Vietnamese law; (2) Having a management system and operational capacity in accordance with international standards ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015 and national standards TCVN ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015; (3) There are internal certification processes and guidelines on certification activities that meet the requirements of the Vietnamese forest certification system; (4) Accredited by the Bureau of Quality Accreditation (BoA); (4) Having human resources in charge of professional, administrative and accounting fields; (5) Appointed by the Forest Certification Office (VFCO) under the Designation Contract; and (6) Meet the professional requirements of the VFCS/PEFC certification activities.

The time and cost to achieve VFCS/PEFC certification depends on the size and complexity of the forest resources as well as the organizational model of the enterprise. To be certified, your organization must pay the certification body (CB). In addition, it may be necessary to hire an investment and consulting organization to improve the company’s production conditions to meet the requirements of sustainable forest management standards or chain of custody standards.

Once your business and organization is granted FM certificate or CoC certificate against respective VFCS and PEFC standards, you can use the VFCS/PEFC logo on your products. VFCS and PEFC have specific regulations on the use of logos, please contact the certification body or VFCO for detailed instructions.

You can contact the Vietnam Forest Certification Office, consulting organizations, and certification bodies for support and guidance on specific information for VFCS/PEFC certification.

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