Timber species verification can be used to assess whether timber either in its ‘raw’ form or when manufactured into a product is the species it is claimed to be in the accompanying document.

Timber species verification provides a useful additional tool when used as part of an organization’s due diligence system. 

From a European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) perspective all the species contained in a product or item must be included on the accompanying documentation and can therefore be subject to scrutiny.

We are able to conduct timber species verification on samples to confirm whether they are made from the wood claimed in accompanying documentation provided by your supplier. 

Using our extensive library of reference timber specimens and specialist keys, we will examine your sample and compare its characteristics against those of known samples.

We will then provide you with an independent technical report on our findings.
Timber species verification

The benefits of timber species verification

Timber species verification provides a useful due diligence system to meet the EUTR. 

All companies involved in the trade and selling of timber and timber-based products (including paper) in Europe need to understand the requirements of the regulation.   

Under the Regulation companies fall under two categories: 

  • Operators – those who first place on the EU market the timber or timber products (whether sourced from within the EU or from outside the EU).
  • Traders – those who sell or buy timber or timber products already placed on the internal market by Operators or other Traders. 

To 'first place' products on the EU market means you are the entity with legal ownership of the product when it first enters the EU market. 

For most Traders it has been business as usual since the law took effect on 3rd March 2013.

As a Trader, your EUTR obligations extend to maintaining transaction records for five years and co-operating with any investigations that might arise in the future. 

However, Operators are required to undertake measures designed to check whether timber / timber products they ‘handle’ is legal to comply with the EUTR.

Operators are required to undertake due diligence either by developing their own due diligence system (DDS) or using one provided by a third party.  

What is timber species verification?

The methods employed to verify wood species involves examination of the anatomical features of the sample in question using microscopy.

These anatomical features are compared against those for timbers claimed to have been used in accompanying documentation.

This is important where a product is made up from more than one component.

Next, the microscopic features of woods used in the product are identified, recorded and matched with those of authenticated reference samples, thousands of which have been collected by us for more than 70 years. 

Operators are required to provide botanic names for species contained in their products.

Commercial or local names for timbers while acceptable to the trade may be misleading and should not be used in the context of EUTR. 

It should also be recognized that in the past the geographic origin of timber provided an indication of species it was likely to be.

However, since many commercial timbers are now grown outside the regions where they originate geographic origin is less useful.