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Technical Updates


Tuesday, 30 August 2016
Changes to Controlled Wood

Controlled Wood

August 30, 2016


At their July 2016 meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, the FSC International Board of Directors agreed to important changes to the new Controlled Wood standard (FSC-STD-40-005 V3-0) and its implementation.

Most significantly, in response to extensive feedback from members, stakeholders and FSC national offices, the Board removed the requirement for “Simplified Risk Assessments.” Instead FSC will allow certificate holders maintaining company Controlled Wood Risk Assessments to continue to employ these for sourcing from countries where a National Risk Assessment (NRA) or Centralized National Risk Assessment (CNRA) development process is already underway.

At the Charleston meeting, the Board restated FSC’s commitment to completing the Centralized National Risk Assessment (CNRA) and National Risk Assessment (NRA) process by the end of 2017, but also determined the following:

  • For those countries in the process of developing NRAs and/or CNRAs, the current system of company risk assessments will continue. To avoid confusion, the “Simplified Risk Assessment” will be eliminated from the Controlled Wood standard.
  • The “Extended Risk Assessment” will not be introduced in countries with a NRA/CNRA process in place, but will still be the required tool for risk assessments in countries without a NRA/CNRA process, according to currently agreed timelines.

As FSC US is currently in the process of developing its NRA, certificate holders with current Controlled Wood risk assessments covering sourcing within the United States will not need to develop a Simplified Risk Assessment or Extended Risk Assessment.

Instead, these organizations should continue to use their company risk assessments in implementation of the revised Controlled Wood standard until the U.S. NRA is approved.

This Board decision does not affect the timelines for implementation of FSC-STD-40-005 V3-0. Certificate holders must meet the requirements of the new standard (with the exception of the above changes) by the end of the transition period (June 30, 2017).

Further details and clarification are expected from FSC International in early September.

Read the full text of the Board decisions related to Controlled Wood (including some additional elements not specifically related to risk assessment development requirements).

If you have questions, please contact Amy Clark Eagle, FSC-US Director of Science and Certification at a.eagle@us.fsc.org.