Forest Etalon
Forest Etalon today:

515 active certificates
54 regions of Russia (FM and CoC), Belarus (CoC) and Kazakhstan (CoC)
9.1+ mln hectares of forests certified
• Officially registered by the Russian Standardization Authority
Voluntary Forest Certification System

About the system

Forest Etalon voluntary forest certification system was established in Russia in April 2022 as a reaction to the decision of FSC International to suspend all FSC trade certificates in Russia. The Forest Etalon was launched by the former FSC Russia team.

The Forest Etalon system helps businesses to effectively take care of forests and ensures legality and responsible origin of wood, pulp and paper (including packaging) and non-timber products.
The Forest Etalon system is complementary to the international FSC system, the requirements of the Forest Etalon are identical to the FSC requirements and complement the requirements of Russian legislation.
The Forest Etalon controls:
  • legality of wood harvesting, including all applicable tax, forestry, environmental and labor legislation
  • meeting high social requirements (taking into account the interests of the local communities and indigenous peoples; protecting workers rights on logging and processing enterprises)
  • meeting high environmental requirements (protection of high conservation value forests and biological diversity during harvesting operations, etc.)
  • integrity of supply chains, the use of waste paper and other recycled wood materials.
Forest Etalon is the only Russian certification system that strictly requires preservation of the most valuable natural forests (intact forest landscapes), which are critical for mitigating climate change and preventing emissions of greenhouse gases and preserving the biological diversity of the planet. Working according to the Forest Etalon standards, enables the companies to make their contribution to meet 14 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Tilda Publishing

How the Forest Etalon system works

Standards and all regulatory documents are developed by the Standard Development Group and external consultants. The Standard Development Group consists of 9 well-known experts representing social, environmental and economic interests.
The assessment of companies, for compliance with the requirements of the standards, is carried out by independent certification bodies. Surveillance audits of the certified companies are conducted at least once a year. The Forest Etalon certificate is issued for a period of 5 years. Surveillance audits are conducted by the certification body once a year.
Recommendations and expert opinion on the development of the Forest Etalon are given by the Advisory Council.
The system is fully transparent: all our standards, documents, procedures, requirements and lists of certificate holders, maps of certified forests are published at
Our key partners and certificate holders:

Certificate holders

More than 450 companies are Forest Etalon certificate holders. These are manufacturers of round timber, biofuel (pellets), plywood, boards, furniture, cardboard, paper and other products.
All contacts and lists of certified products are available in the open Certificate Register (in Russian):

It is important that certified companies may produce both certified and non-certified products, so please check with them the possibility of supplying certified goods. Certified products must be accompanied by special marks in the shipping documentation.

Advisory Board

The expert body of the Forest Etalon system is formed from members of the Association "National working group on voluntary forest certification", the organization that had formerly represented the FSC in Russia.

The Advisory Board includes leaders of Russian logging and wood processing business, responsible retail, Indigenous peoples, science and nature conservation activists.

The Advisory Board makes recommendations on priority areas of development, provides an independent expert opinion on the effectiveness and efficiency of the voluntary forest certification system, and helps to improve the regulatory framework of the Forest Etalon.
Head of the Center for Responsible Environmental Management of the Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Evgeny Shvarts
Member of the Public Council of the Federal Forestry Agency, expert in the Public Council under the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia, member of the expert councils on sustainable development of other government Ministries and Committees. Nikolay is the author or scientific editor of more than 100 books and articles.
Valentina Semyashkina
Andrey Krivoshein
Maria Podkopayeva
Member of the Council of Interregional Public Movement of Izhem Komi People Izvatas
Vice-President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Komi Republic
Sustainability Director X5 Group
Manager of Wood Supply and Forest Certification Development , Svetogorsk Pulp and Paper Mill, NPAO
Alexander Golubev


There are several standards in the Forest Etalon that contain requirements of the system.
• forest management,
• chain of custody.
• controlled wood standard,
• standard for reclaimed materials,
• group/multi-site chain of custody certification standard,
• guidance on marketing purposes and the use of conformity marks and labelling,
• guidance for certification bodies,
• other regulatory documents.
The main standards are:
Other regulatory documents:
All standards ensure compliance with all applicable tax, forest and environmental legislation of the Russian Federation, as well as with the requirements of the EUTR and the Lacey Act.

The main standard on which the entire system is built and which defines the requirements for the use and conservation of forests in Russia.

Compliance with this standard confirms the quality of forest management

Forest Management Standard


Compliance with this standard confirms the origin of wood, pulp and paper and non-timber forest products from responsible sources.
Includes requirements for the use of controlled wood (see below) and recycled materials.

Chain of Custody Standard

Open and download
Open and download

How to get certified

If you are a company that works with wood and paper goods and packaging, pulp and paper (including packaging), and non-timber products and want to get a certificate of the Forest Etalon complete the following steps:
familiarise yourself with the standards and requirements of the Forest Etalon
get prepared for the assessment of compliance with the requirements of standards (audit)
contact the certification body accredited to work in your country

Certification bodies

If your country is not on the list, please, write us to:

Pass the certification assessment (audit) and start using the advantage of the Forest Etalon certificate!

What do the holders of the Forest Etalon certificates need to pay for?

The cost of certification includes:
1. annual administration fee charged by the Forest Etalon system (see rates in the table below);
2. payment for the services of certification bodies (the amount is determined by each body independently).
The rates of annual administration fee of the Forest Etalon system and explanations to them are presented in the table below.

Rates of annual administration fees (AAF).

Chain of custody*

*To determine the AAF for the chain of custody certification, the following steps must be performed:
a) Determine the total forest products turnover (if there are several sites within the scope of certification, this shall be done for all such sites of the enterprise)
b) Using the column “Forest products turnover, ₽", determine which class (column "Class") refers to the enterprise for the total turnover of forest products
c) Depending on the class of the total forest products turnover and the category of the enterprise (processor or trader, single site or multi-site), in the appropriate column, determine the amount of the contribution.
d) In case the chain of custody certification is performed for a group, the AAF is charged from each member of the group depending on its forest products turnover according to the table.


The Forest Etalon was launched by the former FSC Russia team.
The team, thanks to many years of experience working under the FSC scheme, has all the necessary competencies and good business reputation.

Nikolay Shmatkov, General Director of the Forest Etalon system, member of the Public Council of the Federal Forestry Agency, expert in the Public Council under the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia, member of the expert councils on sustainable development of other government Ministries and Committees. Nikolay is the author or scientific editor of more than 100 books and articles.


Please, you can contact us for any question, or request a consultation in English
by e-mail:
Although the Forest Etalon voluntary certification system refers to the FSC standards posted in the public domain, FSC does not participate in the development of standards in any way and does not endorse or support this certification system. The materials and requirements issued by Forest Etalon do not oblige Forest Stewardship Council Global Development or any of its subsidiaries to comply with them.