In parallel with the EU Timber Trade Regulation, which came into force in March 2013, the Thünen Centre of Competence on the Origin of Timber was founded at the Thünen Institute in Hamburg. It combines the expertise of three specialist institutes (Institutes of Wood Research, of Forest Genetics, and of Forestry). At the Centre of Competence, wood samples can be determined doubtlessly at the genus or species level, and information on the geographical origin of the wood can be verified for an increasing number of tree species.
In addition, international certification systems are being further developed that both certify the legality and sustainability of forest management and document the trade and production chain. Timber trade flows and markets are continuously analyzed to provide information for policy makers and companies. At the same time, risk countries and risk commodity groups are identified.
The Centre of Competence is thus the central contact facility in Germany and Europe for authorities, the timber trade, consumers and associations on issues relating to the species and origin certification of wood and wood products.
The experts of the Thünen Centre of Competence cooperate internationally with scientific institutions and educate partners in the respective countries. This enables them to provide precise information on the spot about the traded assortments, their origin, their legality and their sustainable harvesting.