Keurhout reviews local, regional or international certificates for sustainable forest management or legal origin, issued for specific forest areas (forest management unit, FMU) and their processing chain (CoC) in production countries. Toward this end the Keurhout Protocol includes a sustainability test (KH-SFM sub-protocol) and a legality test (KH-LET sub-protocol).
Keurhout does not accredit certification bodies and is not a certification institution itself. Keurhout is an independent evaluator of certificates and systems which are presented to it on a voluntary basis and does not discriminate in advance in favour of or to the detriment of any specific certificate or certification system. Keurhout functions as "gatekeeper" which only allows acceptable certificates and systems, or certificates within a system,
to go on to the Dutch and/or European consumer.
If a certificate meets the respective requirements of he Keurhout Protocol, the forest unit will be admitted to the relevant Keurhout system for the term of the accepted certificate and there is a right to trade timber (products) originating from the certified forest unit with the Keurhout Quality mark for sustainable or legal timber.
All certificates validated by Keurhout relate to certificates issued by authorised independent certification institutions. Keurhout does not accept certificates for review that are based directly on the Keurhout Protocol, but only certificates based on a regional, national or international standard or on a checklist of the certification body.
If a certificate does not yet fully comply with the set requirements ( there are one or more minor CAR’s) the BoE may decide that the certificate is accepted under the condition that the flaws are repaired within a specified timeframe to meet the requirements of the Keurhout Protocol. The control over the proper execution of these minor CAR’s is executed and reported by an independent Certification Body. Therefore Keurhout does not act as a Certifying Body.
In case the evaluation shows severe shortcomings the certificate is rejected.
Applications can only be submitted by KH participants or groups of participants. There are costs connected with submitting an application. A quotation will be made available by the BoE. Request for new applications can be issued to the secretariat of the BoE. For the procedure see: Application.