The SGS ‘Timber Legality & Traceability Verification’ (TLTV) Program was evaluated by Keurhout against the Keurhout Protocol for Legal Systems and found compliant with its requirements. From today on, forestry/timber companies verified against the SGS TLTV Legality of Production (LP) and Chain-of-Custody (CoC) Standards can brand their timber with the Keurhout-Legal label in line with the procedures as detailed in the Keurhout-Logo Guide and the Keurhout Participant Agreement.

About Keurhout

Keurhout was founded in 1996 with the support of, and in close cooperation with the Dutch Government, the business community (trade, processing industry), and trade unions. It focuses on the assessment of forest management certificates against a protocol (KH-SFM), based on the minimum requirements of the Dutch Government for sustainable forest management. Since January 2004, the services of Keurhout are facilitated by the Netherlands’ Timber Trade Association (Vereniging Van Nederlandse Houtondernemingen; NTTA). www.keurhout.nlTo meet the need from various European countries governments to demonstrate that timber was produced, processed and traded in a legal manner, Keurhout developed a reference framework with which the value of legality statements can be reviewed. This Keurhout Protocol for the Validation of Legal Timber (KH-LET) is operational since 2005. It was followed in 2006 by a Protocol which enables the assessment of entire certification systems for either legality or sustainability (KH-SYS). Positively evaluated certificates or systems are admitted either to the Keurhout Legal System or to the Keurhout-Sustainable System. The volumes of Keurhout Legal timber and Keurhout Sustainable timber have increased significantly over the last few years.

The Keurhout label, which has great significance in the Dutch market, has admitted several sustainable forest management certificates to the Keurhout Legal System. But the SGS TLTV Program is the first, specifically designed legality verification system to be positively assessed against the Keurhout Protocol for Validation of Certification Systems (KH-SYS) for legality. In this case the protocol is based on the Keurhout Protocol for the Validation of Legal Origin (KH-LET), but has additional requirements at system level. Admission of a certification system to Keurhout-Legal implies that in principle all certificates that have been/are issued under the system are admitted to Keurhout-Legal. The current admission to the Keurhout-Legal System has a validity of 4 years.

The TLTV Program was developed from a pilot project in 2005 and grew into a systematic program that verifies forestry companies’ compliance against a comprehensive legality standard. The trail of the timber to the markets is controlled through Chain-of-Custody audits of the processing or trading companies. With, to date, 4.2 Mio ha of TLTV verified forests belonging to 7 forestry companies in 3 African countries in the Congo Basin (Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon) and 11 TLTV CoC Statements issued in 10 countries in Europe, America, and Asia, the program is steadily growing across the world and imposing itself as a benchmark for robustness, credibility, and market acceptance.

About SGS

Established in 1878, with Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, SGS is the world’s largest inspection, verification and testing company. With branches in 140 countries and over 50,000 staff, SGS provides services to the automotive, consumer product, environmental, industrial, life science, mining, oil & gas, and quality assurance sectors as well as services to governments and institutions. SGS has no trading or manufacturing interests and its services are based on impartiality, independence and integrity.


Juliane Lemcke
TLTV Service Manager