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COC/CW Certification Procedure

COC/CW Certification Procedure

1 stage. Decision

The timber processing or timber selling enterprise (further on referred to as the Client) decides to extend the scope of chain of custody certification to include the FSC Controlled wood and sends an application to the certification body (further on referred to as the Contractor) using the template authorized by the Contractor.

It is necessary to extend the scope of chain of custody certification to include the FSC Controlled wood if one or several options described below are in place:

  • The Client wants to assign the “FSC Controlled wood” status to materials coming from non-certified suppliers in order to use them for manufacturing FSC product groups;
  • The Clients wants to assign the “FSC Controlled wood” status to materials coming from non-certified suppliers in order to sell them afterwards (or sell products manufactured out of these materials) with the same FSC claims.

The Contractor’s compliance with FSC-STD-40-005 requirements may be evaluated during the main chain of custody audit (against FSC-STD-40-004 standard) or during additional (surveillance) audit scheduled by the Contractor upon the Client’s request.

Stage 2. Concluding a contract

Having discussed the certification process, including Client’s tracking of the products origin and methods applied for suppliers’ monitoring, the Contractor makes a commercial quotation to the Client regarding certification costs and a certification procedure. Once the quotation is accepted and all conditions are agreed on, the Client and the Contractor sign a relevant additional agreement to the concluded certification contract. The contract is not bounded by the certification period.

Stage 3. Preliminary audit

A preliminary audit of the FSC Controlled wood is not mandatory but it allows the Contractor to obtain general overview of the Client’s suppliers’ monitoring program, while the Client may get familiar with the FSC and Contractor’s requirements. If the pre-audit is conducted, it is stipulated by the additional agreement to the certification contract. The main aim of the pre-audit is to define areas that may require additional work or close attention of the Client before the main audit; the scope of certification is also clarified.

Based on the audit results, a summary report will be provided to the Client including conclusions about the chain of custody conformity with valid FSC requirements.

Stage 4. Management documents’ review

The Client shall provide the Contractor with the most important documents (resume of Due Diligence System (DDS), list of controlled wood suppliers with identification of regions/forestries, information about stakeholders for consultations) prior to the main / additional audit, so that the Contractor could study specifics of the planning and management process in detail. This is necessary for the audit’s enhancement.

Stage 5. Main / additional audit

If the pre-audit has been carried out, then once all major non-conformities raised are eliminated, the Contractor jointly with the Client schedules the main \ additional audit. If the pre-audit has not been carried out, the Contractor agrees upon the timeframe and conducts the main / additional audit only after concluding the contract, but after 6 weeks after public consultations.

Usually the main audit of the FSC Controlled wood is conducted jointly with the main chain of custody audit.

If the Client already possesses a chain of custody certificate, then the Contractor carries out an unscheduled additional audit (or surveillance audit) to evaluate the Client’s compliance with FSC-STD-40-005 requirements.

Main attributes of the main / additional FSC Controlled wood audit cover:

  • identification of input and output materials;
  • risks assessment of wood origin and mixing;
  • implementation of the suppliers’ monitoring program (with mandatory consultations with stakeholders and supplier’s field check at the FMU level — suppliers’ forest areas and places of mixing);
  • products separation (certified and non-certified);
  • documentation system (incl. bookkeeping);
  • training and information about the personnel;
  • appropriate use of the FSC logo.

Based on the audit findings, the Contractor provides a report to the Client; this report stipulates all non-conformities raised against applicable FSC standards’ requirements.

Stage 6. Certificate issue and registration / extension of the scope of certification

If the main chain of custody audit is carried out jointly with the FSC Controlled wood, then once the Client eliminates major conditions (if any) and they are closed in the report, the report is forwarded to the Certification Committee which permanently operates under the Contractor. The Certification Committee decides whether the FSC chain of custody and FSC Controlled wood certificate with joint certification code (CoC/CW) can be issued, the Contractor registers the issued certificate.

If an additional or surveillance audit is carried out to extend the scope of the valid FSC chain of custody certificate, then once the Client eliminates major conditions, the Contractor extends the scope of the Client’s chain of custody certificate to the scope “chain of custody and FSC Controlled wood” with the double certification code (CoC/CW) and registers the relevant changes.

The Contractor registers the certificate or changes in the certificate in the FSC database http://info.fsc.org. If necessary, conditions may be raised to the Client that shall be eliminated by the set deadline.

Stage 7. Surveillance audits

At least once a year the Contractor will carry out surveillance audits of the Client to monitor the implementation of conditions raised by the report. Surveillance FSC Controlled wood audits are combined with chain of custody audits. Main aspects of such audits include monitoring of DDS, of how materials’ records are kept as well as monitoring suppliers (with mandatory supplier’s field check at the FMU level), products input/output and the FSC logo usage.

At least 4 (four) surveillance audits shall be conducted during the 5-year certificate validity period.

Additional clarifications

The entire certification process is not restricted by deadlines as enterprises’ readiness to certification and time required to eliminate potential non-conformities (in case of pre-audit) prior to the certificate issue differ.

Changes in the certificate related to the extension of the scope of the chain of custody certificate to the scope “chain of custody and FSC Controlled wood” with double certification code (CoC/CW) shall not lead to the change of the validity period of the initially issued chain of custody certificate. The Client undertakes an obligation to conform to FSC and Contractor’s requirements throughout the entire certificate’s validity period.