Validate Your Certificates

A few weeks ago, Mutu, a CARB and EPA recognized TPC, put out an announcement regarding a fraudulent certificate being presented to buyers of plywood. I encourage you to read the entire announcement and view a copy of the photo-shopped certificate. The forgers did a pretty good job. At first glance, it looks pretty legit. But that’s why you need to validate certificates provided to you.

Almost all TPCs will list their clients on their website. If they don’t, write or call. Definitely confirm that the certificate is legit and covers the products being represented. Remember my blog on FER terminology? I note that you want to make sure that if you are offered say, tMDF, that the mill is cleared to do that, not just MDF.

(If that paragraph above did not make sense to you, go read the FER term blog. You folks need to know this stuff!)

And also remember you can’t currently say to a flooring company “give me your cert.” Why? Remember that flooring isn’t one of those certified products. Some types of engineered are scheduled to be directly certified in time, but if a manufacturer of a plywood core floor doesn’t have a cert in their name now, that’s going to be pretty typical. Right now, it is the plywood that is certified, not the flooring.

So learn these regs—understand what you want to ask for and how to check it. You may or may not receive (or even want) the plywood certificate for what went into your floor. But certainly you want to know that your manufacturer or importer is on top of things and that they are doing more than collecting paperwork—they are checking validity as well.

Elizabeth Baldwin is Environmental Compliance Officer for Metropolitan Hardwood Floors. In her 25 plus year career in the wood industry has visited over 70 countries and hundreds of facilities of all sizes and types. She describes herself as a “jack of all wood trades.” Familiar with jungles of all sorts–having camped out along the Amazon and walked the halls of Congress–she blogs for the NWFA on both environmental and regulatory issues for educational and informational purposes only. Her blog is not intended and should not be construed as legal advice. Persons seeking legal advice on compliance with CARB, TSCA, the U.S. Lacey Act or any other law, regulation, or compliance requirement/claim should consult with the regulatory agency directly and/or a qualified legal professional.

One thought

  1. Great message Elizabeth … if you are buying on price, good luck… know your supplier and ask the questions… we have seen exactly as mentioned in the article…. do your due diligence !

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