Relief and Disbelief in Malaysia on MTCS-Acceptance


KUALA LUMPUR 23 June: The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) welcomes the long overdue acceptance of the already PEFC-endorsed Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) under the Dutch government’s public procurement policy for timber.   This decision allows the timber and construction industry in the Netherlands to use PEFC-certified timber under the MTCS for Dutch public procurement projects. There is however also disbelief that the acceptance by the Dutch government is only temporary, in spite of the intended full acceptance agreed upon three years ago.

Yong Teng Koon, CEO of MTCC: ‘We are relieved that the Malaysian efforts in the field of sustainable forest management opens the Dutch government market for MTCS certified timber. However, we are also concerned that our timber will be treated as less sustainable.” The Dutch Ministry for Infrastructure and the Environment classifies MTCS as ‘not fully meeting the TPAS criteria’, thereby continuing to show differential treatment for the MTCS. Yong: “As a valued member of PEFC International and as a scheme accepted by all five EU Member States with active sustainable procurement policies, MTCS has proved to meet internationally accepted and recognised sustainability requirements of PEFC International.’

MTCC considers the recent visit of the Dutch State Secretary for Economic Affairs, Her Excellency Mrs. Sharon Dijksma to Malaysia on 12 June 2014 as an important step towards the full and unconditional acceptance of the MTCS following a constructive bilateral meeting with her Malaysian counterpart His Excellency Minister Douglas Uggah Embas from the Malaysian Ministry for Plantation Industries and Commodities.  State Secretary Dijksma’s scheduled visit to a MTCS-certified forest on 13 June also provided her the opportunity to witness the implementation of sustainable forest management practices in Malaysia, including  the opportunity to study detailed maps of the MTCS certified forests. 

The Dutch Cabinet had specifically requested the Parliament to recognize the role and responsibility of the international umbrella organization PEFC International which is currently reassessing the MTCS under the new PEFC meta-standards. The outcome of the review is expected later this year. Malaysia expects the Dutch government to fully accept the MTCS under its procurement policy if this re-assessment concludes that the MTCS fully complies with PEFC International’s meta-standards, according to Yong Teng Koon.

With this decision PEFC-certified timber and timber products under the MTCS are now accepted under the timber procurement policy of the Dutch government.



District Officer, Mr. Awang Shaffie briefing the delegation on the regeneration status of the logged over forest


Ms. Dijksma having a first-hand experience of walking in a regenerated tropical rainforest

Mr. Harnarinder Singh explaining to Ms. Dijksma regarding the FMU Map



Also see related news:

Efforts Towards Sustainable Forestry Management Undermined by SMK Decision, 20 October 2011

Basis of TPAC decision questioned by MTCC, 26 October 2010

MTCC Optimistic of Outlook for Endorsement of MTCS by Dutch Governemnt, 8 March 2010