Terminology Time: TPC

TPC will often be used two or three different ways.  Most commonly it is for “Third Party Certifier” but it also might be “Third Party Certification” or “Third Party Certified.”  All come from the same concept. 

A Third Party, of course, is someone outside or distinct from your own organization.  So the idea is that you are getting independent verification of the performance or condition of your organization, process or product.  This usually provides your customer with reassurance that the statement you are making is correct.  You can have a third-party review of anything from your corporate business practices to your production process to the performance standards of your product.

For example, the statement “TSCA Title VI Certified” might appear on a pallet of plywood with a note “TPC-2.”  You can go to the EPA’s listing of TPCs and you will find out that Benchmark International has checked out that facility and confirmed that they are capable of producing qualifying plywood.

You generally recognize if the “C” is “Certifier” or “Certified” or “Certification” from context. For example, FSC is a well known TPC(ertification) system. The FSC system independently audits participants to ensure that they are following policy and that the material being marked as “FSC” meets their standards. (The “C” in FSC stands for “Council,” as in “Forest Stewardship Council,” but the products would be “FSC Certified.”)

CARB and TSCA uses TPC(ertifiers), of course. These are testing agencies that review production and management systems and periodically test samples for emissions and make sure companies are meeting the standards.

And then the product of hardwood plywood usually must be TPC(ertified) under TSCA to be sold in the US today.

So know your TPC because TPC(ertification) is a fact of life these days.

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.

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