Timber Products Inspection denies fraudulent plywood certification claims
September 23, 2019 | 4:33 pm CDT

Photo By Timber Products Inspection

PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. - Stating the allegations against the wood products accrediting agency are "absolutely false," Timber Products Inspection Inc. added it is ready "to 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 Timber Products Inspection Inc. (TP) and PFS TECO, of issuing PS 1-09 compliance certificates authorizing 35 plants in southern Brazil to stamp structural plywood panels as meeting the structural grade requirements when, according to the coalition, they may not. Also named in the suit is International Accreditation Service Inc., the accrediting agency of both companies.

In a statement, President Jay Moore said "Last week, we were surprised by a lawsuit alleging our company and others have inconsistently applied the PS 1-09 standard to Brazilian plywood. The allegations in the lawsuit are absolutely false.

"We have extreme confidence in our processes. Our confidence is anchored by our standalone, accredited testing facility in Georgia where all client products – including Brazilian plywood – are tested to ensure they meet a variety of regulatory standards."

TP also denied the allegation that panels produced in southern Brazil can exhibit high failure rates due to the "fast-growing non-native plantation species used by the Brazilian plywood producers," and also the coalition's claim that independent testing has not been implemented.

"Despite the claims of the plaintiffs, our experience and testing indicate that Brazilian plywood meets all objective industry and regulatory standards outlined by the PS 1-09 standard. Clients in Brazil and elsewhere who do not consistently meet the applicable industry standard do not remain as TP clients," Moore said.

"A third party established the standard for the plywood program to ensure consistency, and our role is to inspect and audit our clients against the standard requirements. We do this through a rigorous and established qualification process, routine in-plant inspections, and periodic quality checks. These established processes, procedures, and results are reviewed by two outside, independent accreditation bodies on at least yearly intervals," he added.

"In 50 years of service, TP has never been accused of such negligence and we stand by our team, our clients, and our processes. We intend to vigorously defend our reputation in court – and as necessary, in public – in the months ahead.”

Read Jay Moore's full statement.

Timber Products Inspection is based in Peachtree City, Georgia. The company provides analytical, auditing, engineering and technical services.

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Karen Koenig | Editor

Karen M. Koenig has more than 30 years of experience in the woodworking industry, including visits to wood products manufacturing facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As editor of special publications under the Woodworking Network brand, including the Red Book Best Practices resource guide and website, Karen’s responsibilities include writing, editing and coordinating of editorial content. She is also a contributor to FDMC and other Woodworking Network online and print media owned by CCI Media. She can be reached at karen.koenig@woodworkingnetwork.com