Has FSC Fast-Tracked AVP’s Certification Ban?

Wood Central understands that An Viet Phat Energy Co. Ltd, one of world's leading wood pallet exporters, has had it's chain of custody restored 14 months after being expelled by FSC International.

Wed 03 Jan 24


One of the world’s leading wood pellet exporters has had its FSC certification reinstated 14 months after being expelled for making “false claims on a large volume of wood pellets sold in 2020.”

Wood Central understands that An Viet Phat Energy Co. Ltd (AVP), Vietnam’s largest energy company, had its FSC certification reinstated last month – despite announcing in October 2022 “that FSC has expelled the company from the system” for 3.5 years.

As a result, the certificate (SGSHK-COC-370077) is now “active” in the FSC global “chain of custody” pool two years ahead of the ban – although FSC International has not made a public announcement to this effect.

An Viet Phat Energy Co. Ltd is one of the world’s top 5 pallet exporters – footage courtesy of @anvietphatgroup5369.

As per FSC International’s policy, the decision to revoke the ban means that “FSC evaluates the integrity and/or reputational risk posed by the organisation and decides whether to unblock the organisation or not.”

To be reinstated, “companies must demonstrate that they have taken corrective, preventive and remedial (CPR) measures to address the false claims.”

However, no information about CPRs has been provided, nor has a public announcement by FSC International discussing the reinstation been made.

FSC, which along with PEFC certification makes up 13% of the global wood and fibre supply, is crucial in driving the trade of legal and sustainable timbers into international markets – and if used correctly, it can be instrumental in stemming the tide of conflict and illegal timbers entering global supply chains from Russia, Central Africa, Latin America, and the Asia Pacific regions.

FSC International is one of the world’s most recognised and trusted ecolabels – footage courtesy of @FSCInternational.

However, when misused, certification can lead to “false and misleading claims,” resulting in allegations of potential greenwashing.

To address this, FSC International has introduced a series of measures to preserve the integrity of its supply chains – with new technologies like blockchain and wood identification technologies policing supply chains.

According to FSC, a “false claim related to FSC can lead to immediate suspension or termination of the certificate for FSC-certified companies – which happened with An Viet Phat Energy Co. Ltd in October 2022.

In addition, FSC has maintained “independence and impartiality” through its assurance partner, Assurance Services International (ASI), which is fundamental to the operation of its certification bodies. 

Wood Central understands that ASI uses “transaction verification loops, known as “TV Loops”, which, according to FSC’s policy, “are used in supply chain investigations to compare and verify commercial transactions related to a specific product type, group or region over a given period.”

“Their goal is to verify that claims made by FSC certificate holders are accurate and match claims of their trading partners.”

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Live listing on the FSC International Database, January 4th, 2024.

In October 2022, FSC revealed that An Viet Phat Energy “created purchase documents with FSC 100% claims for non-FSC raw material.” At the time, it alleged that Viet Phat Energy used this material for producing wood pellets, which they sold with FSC 100% claims.

FSC and ASI confirmed these allegations using a TV Loop on the Asian FSC-certified wood pellet supply chains in March 2021, with a second phase of the loop revealing that “An Viet Phat Energy had provided documents showing the purchase of FSC-certified raw materials from certificate holders in 2020.”


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