Monday, 28 November 2011
FSC to phase-out minor components by the end of 2012
As recently announced, FSC is currently updating its standards to ensure that FSC certified products comply with government legality efforts, such as the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), US Lacey Act and FLEGT. The FSC Board of Directors mandated that the FSC Policy and Standards Unit ensure the necessary adjustments in the standards are made a year in advance of when the EUTR is implemented, which will be 3 March 2013.
One of the required changes identified by FSC is the elimination of any non-controlled components in FSC certified products, which currently falls under the minor components category. Minor components are forest-based components in FSC assembled products constituting less than 5% of the weight or volume of the virgin and reclaimed materials in the product and that are exempt from the requirements for Chain of Custody control, as specified in the FSC Chain of Custody standard. As a consequence of this process, minor components shall be completely eliminated from FSC system by the end of 2012. After this date, all existing minor components shall comply with controlled wood requirements.
Since the FSC Chain of Custody standard was recently revised, FSC will not make any additional changes in the standard this year. However, FSC plans to conduct next year a complete review process of this standard, which is expected to be published by the end of 2012, including the change that the minor components option will be eliminated from the FSC System. It means that from the date of the publication of this standard, all new and existing certificate holders will have to immediately stop using minor components in new FSC certified products and will not be allowed to gradually eliminate minor components from the certified production during 2013 (even if certified according to Version 2-1 of FSCSTD-40-004).
Therefore, all Certificate Holders shall be aware of this process now and start the preparation for the upcoming changes in the FSC System.