Steps for certification

PEFC certification of the supply chain (COC)

Background of PEFC Certification

The certification for wood and paper products is of interest to a host of companies within the supply chain from the forest of origin to the certified end product. With a PEFC Chain of Custody (COC) certificate, you contribute to the use of responsibly produced raw materials and in doing so, meet the requirements of many customers. GFA Certification is accredited for PEFC certification of the supply chain and offers audits according to the applicable standards. The goal is the traceability of certified products across the entire supply chain right back to the forest of origin. Each individual company within the supply chain must prove their own inputs and outputs of certified goods. This form of certification is aimed at all companies that endeavour to produce, process or trade certified products or wish to be part of the supply chain. The PEFC certification represents an alternative or a complement to FSC® certification. Often, a combination with a FSC certification is desired, GFA offers combined Audits against the FSC and PEFC COC standards.

What is behind the PEFC?

PEFC is an internationally oriented certification system for forest management and related supply chains. This is already reflected in the name “Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes“, a program  that pursues a common goal across national borders: the worldwide improvement of forest use and forest management. The PEFC Council based in Geneva recognizes nationally developed certification systems that meet the international requirements of PEFC seal. All national systems are based on the same benchmarks: the decisions taken at the successor conferences of the Rio Conference.

Procedure of PEFC certification

Companies interested in certification create internal procedures and processes to ensure the traceability of certified materials through own production, processing or trading processes. The effectiveness of the System is verified and confirmed by GFA Certification through a certification audit and then by annual surveillance audits. After successful certification, your company is entitled to label products with the PEFC label and sell these as PEFC certified products.

Important steps to PEFC COC certification


    – Company informs itself about the requirements of for PEFC COC

    – Company fills out the GFA RSPO SCC Questionnaire under Request Offer (see below).

    – If necessary, GFA obtains further information

    – GFA evaluates the information


    – Elaboration of a non-binding offer by GFA

    – If necessary clarification of open questions

    – Placing of the order by the company


    Implementation of the COC requirements by the company, for example

    – Establishment of necessary processes

    – Establishment of responsible staff

    – Creation of a manual

    – Staff training

    – Creation of sample documents


    Assessment of the PEFC system by a GFA auditor

    – Verification of documented procedures

    – Inspection of the on-site operations

    – Meeting with company management

    – Staff meetings with responsible staff

    – Creation of the audit report by the auditor

    – Correction of identified deviations made by the company

    – Certification decision by the GFA


    – Issuing and sending of the certificate

    – Registration of the certificate


    – Annual assessment by an auditor

    – Company provides evidence

    – Certification decision by the GFA


    – Takes place a few weeks prior to expiry of the certificate period (5 years)

    – New certification contract is concluded

    – New audit by GFA


For more information download our PDF documents listed in the side bar or contact us directly via the contact form or under

Niklas Schroettke (+49 40 5247431 151 or mobile +49 151 150566 29) oder

Jannek Fahrenkrug ( +49 40 5247431 152 or mobile +49 151 150566 26) oder

Sarah Strohbusch (+49 40 5247431 153 or mobile +49 151 150566 27).

Costs of PEFC certification

Certification of companies according to the requirements of PEFC COC is not a set system with fixed prices. The costs involved depend on the duration of audit which in turn is dependent on the intended scope of the certificate as well as the complexity of business processes.

You will receive a free and non-binding offer within a few days under the “Request Proposal” section which is tailored to your needs. Usually the time for companies to prepare for certification and be ready for the first audit by GFA takes 4 – 8 weeks.