Keurhout's aims are:
- to establish and manage a system of admitted forest areas and related CoC’s for which the sustainable management and/or the legal origin can be guaranteed.
- to review certificates of sustainable forest management against the criteria of the relevant standards (KH-SFM) of the Keurhout Protocol, based on the minimum requirements formulated therefore by the Dutch Government.
- to review certificates of legal origin (LET) on the basis of the criteria of the relevant standards (KH-LET) of the Keurhout Protocol.
- to review certification systems for sustainable forest management and/or legal origin against the criteria of relevant standards (KH-SYS-SFM or KH-SYS-LET) of the Keurhout Protocol.
- to carefully follow the timber from the admitted production areas during the entire legal or sustainable CoC to the consumer.
The minimum requirements of the Dutch government (1997) align with the international developments in this area: the FSC Principles & Criteria, the Criteria & Indicators of ITTO (International Tropical Timber Organisation), the Helsinki process and the Forest Principles of the UNCED (United Nations Conference on Environment and Development), Rio de Janeiro 1992. These are the basis for the Keurhout requirements for sustainable forest management (KH-SFM sub-protocol).
The Keurhout requirements relating to legality (KH-LET sub-protocol) have been developed on the basis of the study of relevant initiatives and experience and consultation with selected international representatives of various related and interested organisations (public authorities, social and environmental organisations, certification institutions, scientists). The standard was established as a practical workable result of sometimes varying opinions, under the responsibility of the NTTA.
The Keurhout system reviews (KH-SYS sub-protocols) are based on a combination of the KH-LET review (for system legality) and/or KH-SFM review (for system sustainability). The system reviews set additional requirements at system level.