Reminder: PEFC certificate holders need to be aware that the transition period for phasing in the new PEFC Chain of Custody standard ends on 26 November 2011. After this date, all PEFC certified companies need to be in conformance with the new standard, including new social requirements.
All PEFC Chain of Custody certificate holders need to be in conformance with the new standard by 26 November 2011.
PEFC certificate holders who haven’t yet started their adjustment process urgently need to take stock of the changes, revise their chain of custody procedures, and provide additional training for their staff, to ensure compliance by the deadline. We hereby bring an overview of the key changes.
- The most spectacular addition is the new social requirements (Appendix 4): The organisation shall ensure that elementary rights of workers are respected. This includes demonstrating that workers are not prevented from associating freely; the use of forced labour is not permitted; workers younger than the minimum legal age, the age of 15, or the compulsory school attendance age (whichever is higher) are not employed; workers are not denied equal employment opportunities and treatment. Furthermore, the organisation shall ensure that the working conditions do not endanger the employees’ safety or health.
- Complaints (clause 6.7): The organisation shall have procedures in place for handling complaints from suppliers, customers and other parties relating to the organisation’s Chain of Custody system.
- Subcontracting (clause 6.8): The organisation shall take full responsibility for all sub-contracted activities related to manufacturing of products covered by the organisation’s certificate. The organisation shall have a written agreement with all subcontractors and the organisation’s internal audit programme shall cover the subcontractor’s activities.
Clarifications or changes to existing requirements:
- Delivery document (clause 4.4.1; 5.5.1): The organisation shall define a single type of document associated with sold or delivered products as delivery document for the purpose of communicating the Chain of Custody claims. The delivery document needs to include all required information (including customer identification, product identification, identifier of the supplier’s Chain of Custody or forest management certificate or other document confirming the supplier’s certified status).
- Confirmation of the supplier’s certified status (clause 4.4.1; 5.5.1): At the point of purchase or transfer of certified products, a copy of or access to the suppliers’ Forest Management or Chain of Custody certificate shall be provided by the supplier to the customer.
- The volume credit method (clause 5.4.2): The new standard includes clarification on methods for calculating volume credits as well as on the credit account management requirements.
- Written procedures (clause 6.3.1): The standard clarifies that the organisation’s chain of custody procedures shall be in written.
- PEFC Due Diligence System, DDS (Appendix 2): The Annex 2 on due diligence requirements replaces the following document: “Annex 4, Appendix 7 Implementation of requirements for the avoidance of the procurement of raw material from controversial sources”. The required elements remain the same, namely suppliers’ self-declarations, risk assessments and requirements for definition and management of high risk supplies. However, the scope of the DDS has been updated and clarified, and the methodology for determining the sampling frequency based on number of high risk suppliers has changed.
- Multisite organisations: The definition of a multisite organisation is clarified. Activities related to communication with the certification body are identified and added to central office responsibilities.
The new standard (PEFC ST 2002:2010) replaces Annex 4 of the PEFC Council Technical Document. Any certification, recertification or surveillance audit conducted after the transition date of 26 November shall be carried out against new requirements.
Guidance from PEFC
PEFC has published a guidance document explaining how certain criteria in the new standard shall be interpreted and verified. Surprisingly, the guidance does not address the new social criteria, where many questions can be expected to arise.
You can download the revised PEFC Chain of Custody standard and related guidance document as well as view FAQs and webinar about the new standard here.