For Keurhout participants in consumer countries (e.g. in the Netherlands/Europe), the Quality Mark system works as follows:
- Only there where the CoC is effectively inspected may timber be traded as Keurhout-Legal or Keurhout-Sustainable. For the inspection, NTTA aims at agreements with at least two independent CBs per receiving country. These CBs must be independent, professional and accredited. It is possible to deviate from the latter requirement if the company works as a subcontractor for an organisation that is accredited for CoC audits.
- All companies which wish to make use of the Quality Mark system must be a Keurhout participant. Toward this end the company must a) sign a participants contract with NTTA, b) pay the annual participants contribution and c) make a contract with a CB for the annual audit. The CB determines the applicability of the CoC system in that company by means of an intake interview in combination with the admission inspection. The rights and obligations of the participants are recorded in the participants contract; the agreement is valid for one year. An applicant party will only be a participant as soon as the participants contract has been signed and returned and the contribution has been received and the CB has successfully completed the audit. Prior to that the applicant is a “candidate participant” and may not trade any Keurhout or make any claims regarding Keurhout in public.
- For inspection of the CoC, every candidate participant makes a contract with a CB so-authorised by NTTA. The costs thereof are at the expense of the candidate participant. The CB executes inspections in conformity with the “Keurhout Audit Protocol for CoC certification”. Every participant annually receives 1 pre-planned audit; in addition, annually 10% of the participants undergo unannounced inspections. Making a contract for the Keurhout CoC audit and the handling of the costs is the responsibility of the participant and takes place without Keurhout's intervention.
- If the CoC audit has a positive outcome, the candidate participant is accepted as a participant, so that he will have the right to trade Keurhout timber (both KH-Legal and KH-Sustainable) on the conditions laid down in the participants contract. To substantiate the claim that the participant has this right, the participant may issue a “KH Statement” with KH products, but only to end-users. The format for the KH Statements is determined by the NTTA and is licensed to the CB, from which they can be obtained. The CB sees to the correct use of these KH Statements. NTTA holds the right for taking steps against parties that make wrongful use of such Statements. Guidelines for the use of Statements can be found in the “Keurhout Audit Protocol for CoC certification”.
- In principle, the participant who supplies the finished product to the consumer issues the Quality Mark. Details on the use of the KH logos by participants can be found in the participant agreement and in the “Keurhout Logo Use Guide”.
- If producers in the country of origin wish to place a Keurhout label, this is possible on condition that a formal request is presented to and approved by the NTTA via the Application for admitted logo use . The applicant logo user must be a Keurhout COC-admitted exporter and present an annual and CB approved surveillance report to Keurhout, under the Keurhout conditions. Terms, regulations and guidelines for logo users in countries of origin are set out in the “Keurhout Logo Use Guide”.
- Inspection of the work of CBs will take place on the one hand by the national accreditation organisation (in the Netherlands this is the Accreditation Board, AB). On the other hand, NTTA also sees to it that the CBs comply with the contractually recorded agreements.
Note: due to the full recognition of the KH-CoC by the TPAC (Timber Procument Assessment Committee) as expressed in the assessment report (see: www.tpac.smk.nl), timber for procurement purposes of the Dutch Government can be channelled through the KH-CoC.
- All companies which process and trade Keurhout, assuming that they physically possess the timber, can become a Keurhout participant. For example: timber importers, woodworking businesses, sawmills, contractors. However, for example agents cannot be participants (the latter only manage timber flows administratively). Symphatizing timber agents may however become a Keurhout donor.
- NTTA annually fixes the costs of participation.