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FSC Standards Interpretations


This section gives you access to current standard interpretations separated by topics and related normative documents.

FSC-STD-20-002 Generic Standards


Question

In a CB national standard, a new section has been included, regarding NTFP.
Point 4 of ADVICE-20-007-05 states that “The certification body shall use standards prepared or adapted in the region for that NTFP, or it shall prepare its own NTFP standards by a process of national or regional consultation similar to the process currently used for the local adaptation of certification body generic standards (see FSC-STD-20-002). …”

1: Does “or” here mean that in this case the CB must undertake the consultation process as referred to in this norm, for the inclusion of this NTFP section to be in compliance?

2: If this is the case, must ASI not approve the standard (NTFP part) until this has been done, or would a minor NC with a timeline (1 year) for implementation be in line with the intent of the norm?

3: What does “similar” mean in point 4 of ADVICE-20-007-05? Which parts of the standards adaptation and stakeholder consultation process described in 6 and 7 of FSC-STD-20-002 could be excluded?

Normative Reference FSC-STD-20-002
Requirement(s) Clauses 6.3 and 6.4.
Published Friday, 04. May 2012
Answer

1. According to FSC-STD-20-002, clause 6.3, the revised standard shall be submitted to a public consultation for at least sixty days.

2. According to FSC-STD-20-002, clause 6.4, the CB shall complete the process of local adaptation of its generic standard, including the public consultation, prior to the main evaluation site visits.

3. The inclusion of NTFP requirements shall be considered as a revision of a CB Generic Standard, and shall follow all applicable requirements in FSC-STD-20-002


Question

1. We are currently in the revision process of our generic standard. Can we interpret the fact that we are in the revision process, therefore this is a repeated consultation, and so we only need a 30 day public consultation?

2. For repeated consultations in the same country (for different clients), does this mean we need to submit our generic standard for a 30 day public consultation before each audit? Why do we need to do a repeated consultation for different clients?

Normative Reference FSC-STD-20-002 (V3-0)
Requirement(s) Clause 6.3.
Published Tuesday, 10. April 2012
Answer

1. No, it is not possible to do a 30 day public consultation, because it´s the first time that the revised standard will be submitted to a public consultation. This consultation shall last for at least sixty days.

2. Yes, the generic standard has to be submitted for a formal consultation period of at least thirty days for repeated consultations in the same country (for different clients).

The reason is found in the Standard: NOTE: the consultation period is defined to ensure conformity of the certification body’s process with consultation requirements as specified in the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards.


Question

Is it possible for a Certification Body (CB) to use an existing adapted generic standard produced by another CB? What is the situation once the CB has checked for non-conformities? Which are the consultation requirements?

Normative Reference FSC-STD-20-002
Requirement(s) Clause 9.1; Clause 6.1.
Published Tuesday, 31. January 2012
Answer

Yes, but only under the following conditions: the existing adapted generic standard shall have the same scope (it shall be applied to the same area (in terms of a country or part of a country) and be limited to the same specific forest type); in addition to this, the CB that produced this generic standard shall agree with this use by providing a written approval.

If these conditions are not met, the CB would need to complete a new consultation process.