The government’s decision, to be announced in the “next few weeks”, could have major implications for the market in certified timber products.

PEFC was put on probation by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) last year after the scheme made changes to its standards to comply with Defra’s requirements for sustainable timber.

The re-assessment of PEFC by the government’s Central Point for Expertise on Timber (CPET) focused on whether changes made by PEFC International had been adopted by the scheme’s national bodies.

Two PEFC national schemes were found not to provide sufficient evidence of complying with PEFC International standards.

But they have now submitted further written evidence to demonstrate their compliance, which has been assessed by the CPET Reference Board, comprising various stakeholders including The Timber Trade Federation and environmental groups.

Bob Andrew, Defra’s procurement policy adviser, said ministers would now decide whether PEFC should continue to be classed as evidence of sustainable timber.

A negative decision for PEFC will mean the scheme will only be classed as evidence of legal timber.