COTTAGE GROVE, Wis. — PFS TECO says it will "vigorously defend" its reputation against claims that it fraudulently certified and stamped structural plywood from southern Brazil as compliant with U.S. standard PS 1-09.

Filed Sept. 5 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida by the U.S. Structural Plywood Integrity Coalition, the suit charges both PFS TECO and Timber Products Inspection Inc. of issuing PS 1-09 compliance certificates authorizing 35 plants in southern Brazil to stamp structural plywood panels as meeting U.S. structural grade requirements when they may not. Also named in the suit is International Accreditation Service Inc., the accrediting agency of both companies.

PFS TECO said it has not been served by the plaintiff’s counsel as of Sept. 19, and the company "stands behind its independent certification procedures as fully compliant with the relevant standards."

In a statement, PFS TECO noted, "The complaint’s use of the calculated uniform load performance results for the plywood is not consistent with PS 1 sheathing test requirements. It appears from the allegations in the complaint that this testing approach relied upon by the plaintiffs is not permitted to be used under PS 1-09 as an alternative to conducting the uniform load test. PFS TECO testing uses the methods directed by the standard."

PFS TECO also denied the allegation that "PS 1-09 quality plywood simply cannot be consistently produced from the two fast-growing non-native plantation species used by the Brazilian plywood producers,"  specifically loblolly pine and slash pine. The company noted it has "more than 15 years of data showing that plywood from southern Brazil and produced by manufacturing facilities certified by PFS TECO can meet PS 1 requirements."

Read PFS TECO's statement

Based in Cottage Grove, Wisconsin, PFS TECO is a 100% employee-owned, independent, third-party certification, inspection, and testing agency. The company said it has been serving the structural wood products industry since 1933, and specifically the plywood industry in the United States since 1958.

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