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Wednesday, 01 April 2020
COVID-19: Ongoing Updates

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FSC Updates Related to COVID-19

FSC has made several announcements about changes due to COVID-19.

For Certification Bodies not able to safely conduct onsite audits, FSC has issued a derogation creating more flexibility in audit procedures, which is valid until December 31, 2020: https://www.fsc.org/en/newsfeed/new-covid-19-updat […]

For Group Certificates, FSC has issued an interpretation clarifying that internal audits of participating sites may be performed remotely in the case that health risk prevent traveling to the site: https://fsc.org/en/news/covid-19-interpretation-fo […]

The FSC General Assembly will be postponed until 2021, following a decision by the FSC International Board of Directors to protect the health and safety of our members, staff, supporters, and others. The event will still be held in Bali, Indonesia, and the new date is forthcoming: https://fsc.org/en/news/fsc-general-assembly-postp […]

COVID-19 Derogations & Interpretation: FSC has released and continues to update the derogations and interpretation listed below. These provide allowances for certification bodies unable to conduct on-site audits and address other COVID-19 situations.

  • FSC-DER-2020-001 (Updated May 7): Provides increased flexibility for most kinds of FM and CoC audits, either through use of desk audits for an extended time available for scheduling the audit. Does not address CoC main audits.
  • FSC-DER-2020-003 (Effective April 16): Allows companies to use virgin fiber for tissue and hygiene products carrying the FSC Recycled label.
  • FSC-DER-2020-005 (Effective May 11): Provides increased flexibility for CoC main audits.
  • FSC-DER-2020-006 (Effective April 30): Allows for a decrease in the minimum percent of FSC material required for an FSC Mix Percentage claim and FSC Mix label when linked to a plan for recovery of volumes following the crisis.
  • CoC Interpretation (INT-STD-40-003_05, Updated May 7): Allows central offices the option of desk audits (remote audits) for all types of participating sites.

Any certificate holder who would like to take advantage of the flexibility provided by these derogations will need to work with their certification body to ensure that the necessary preconditions are in place.

Please see also COVID-related updates and information from FSC International here: https://www.fsc.org/en/news?category=271

If you have questions about any of these changes, please email info@us.fsc.org or call 612-353-4511.

Curated COVID News

While there is no shortage of news related to COVID-19, the following articles offer direct relevance to businesses and the forest products industry:

Impact of COVID-19 on forest products and related industries

General Business Impacts

Crisis Management