The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is to start charging retailers that use its name or logo to promote products made from FSC-certified wood.
The move, initially a pilot, has been planned for some time and will help the FSC protect its trademarks and police unauthorised uses.
Firms that produce certified timber and timber products already have to pay for FSC accreditation. But retailers selling certified products to an end-user, and some other organisations making FSC-related claims, have been able to use the logo for free as long as they obtain permission.
This will now change. Such ‘trademark resource pack holders’, as the FSC calls them, must apply for an annual licence. Fees will vary depending on the workload to the FSC of approving each use of the trademark. The maximum annual charge will initially be £650.
NGOs not selling FSC products will be given a free licence and some licensees will have permission to approve their own trademark uses if they have suitable systems.
The new regime will be introduced over the next six months and will apply automatically to new trademark requests.