The PEFC General Assembly approved the revised CoC Standards on 17 January 2020. Now, the accreditation requirements have also been established by PEFC International and EA (European Accreditation) and it is finally possible for Quality Austria to undergo the re-accreditation audit in mid-February 2021 for:
- PEFC ST 2001:2020 – PEFC Trademark Rules - Requirements, Issue date 2020-02-14
- PEFC ST 2002:2020 Chain of Custody of Forest and Tree Based Products – Requirements, Issue date 2020-02-14
In addition to FSC® CoC and PEFC CoC audits, Quality Austria already offers ISO 38200 CoC audits in the non-accredited area. Here, Quality Austria has a clear USP compared to other certification bodies, as many CBs do not offer ISO 38200. Now we have the opportunity to seek accreditation for this CoC product certification for ISO 38200:2018.
Transition period for the new PEFC CoC Standard
The transition period was originally set for 18 August 2021, but due to the CoViD-19 situation, the 18-month transition period was extended by six month and is now 14 February 2022.
So it can be derived:
- The last day of an audit according to the 2013 version of the standard is 14 February 2022.
- This means that organizations have time until 14 February 2023 to obtain certification against the 2020 version of the standard.
Quality Austria still has to wait for the notification after the accreditation audit by Accreditation Austria before it will be allowed to issue accredited certificates. As usual, Quality Austria will inform its PEFC customers in due time.
Recommendations after the formal approval of Quality Austria
- PEFC CoC certified companies can transition to the new version in the course of the next surveillance audit. The lead auditor will inform you on this matter in due time.
- Initial certifications will only be carried out against the revised PEFC standards 2020.
Revision – Brief overview of changes
- On the basis of the accreditation standard, Quality Austria has additional reporting obligations; these are described in the new certification scheme as a supplement to the GTCs.
- Reordering of the chapters of the standard: the management system requirements including the requirements on health and safety are now listed first, followed by the chapters “Identification of inputs and declaration of outputs”, Chain of custody methods, and Due Diligence System (DDS) requirements (explained in detail in Appendix 1). Appendix 2 specifies the implementation of the standard by organizations with multiple sites.
- Definitions of the terms „complaint“, „equivalent input material“, „outsourcing“, „multisite organization“, „physical separation method“, etc. were added or reworded for clarity.
- The definition of „controversial sources” was extended in understanding since it is applicable outside the scope of a PEFC CoC certification: … where it is known to the organization, or where it has received substantiated concerns that forest and tree based material / products originates in illegal sources (see definition „Controversial sources“, 3.7a), it shall not be placed on the market until the concern has been resolved in accordance with Appendix 1, 4.
- The validity of the supplier’s PEFC CoC certificate is checked on the PEFC Website (pefc.org) and the certificate will be kept as proof (PDF printout).
The calculation methods „Simple percentage“ and „Rolling percentage“ as well as the transfer method „Average percentage method“ are now summarized in the term „Percentage method”. The credit method is now described as a separate CoC method.
- The Due Diligence System (DDS) has been reworded to provide clarification.
- Instead of „logos and labels“, now the term „PEFC trademark” is used.
- It is also expected that a new Logo Use Contract will have to be concluded between the national PEFC organization (e.g. PEFC Austria) and the certified company. However, this is currently being clarified by the national PEFC organization (e.g. PEFC Austria).
- Signing the Logo Use Contract is obligatory – the use of the trademark is voluntary.
- The official PEFC declarations have been clarified --> only these are allowed!
- ATTENTION: With the transition to the new standard, Quality Austria has to issue new certificate numbers because the new accreditation standard specifies precise formal requirements. These have to be incorporated in the management system.