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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-40-005 Evaluation of CW


Which process shall be implemented if a certified FMU is under suspension in a district that has been designated as low risk for all CW categories either by a National Risk Assessment or by a COC Certificate Holder in their FSC Controlled Wood verification pro-gram when the COC Certificate Holder wants to source from this FMU?

Normative Reference FSC-STD-40-005; FSC-DIR-40-005
Requirement(s) Clause 11.1 of FSC STD-40-005; ADVICE-40-005-07 of FSC-DIR-40-005
Published Wednesday, 05. February 2014

At the moment of suspension the products sold by the certified FMU* are losing their FSC status. As the FMU is located in a designated low risk district for CW, the products may still be sourced as “controlled material” under the following conditions:

1. As some or all CW categories may be affected by activities that led to the suspension of the FMU, the COC Certificate Holder shall review and if necessary revise their risk assessment for the area of the suspended FMU.

2. The review/revision of the risk assessment shall be completed by the COC Certificate Holder within a period of two months from the date of suspension of the FMU certificate.

3. The COC Certificate Holder shall submit the reviewed/revised risk assessment to their CB for verification.

4. The reviewed/revised risk assessment shall be verified by the CB no later than one month after the COC Certificate Holder has submitted its reviewed/revised risk assessment, before it can be applied (see FSC-STD-40-005 V2-1 Clause 11.1).

5. As the whole district is considered low risk, the products sourced from the suspended FMU are considered controlled until the verification of the reviewed/revised risk assessment is completed by the relevant CB.

6. The outcome of the review/revision process including verification by the relevant CB will then determine the risk designation for the suspended FMU.

7. Material sourced from the area shall be classified as unspecified risk, if the timelines of review/revision and verification of the risk assessment (2, 4) is not met.

* according to the standard FSC-STD-01-001 or FSC-STD-30-010


In 2012 the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) changed from a scale of 0-10 to a scale of 0-100. Shall the new 0-100 CPI scale be implemented in FSC normative documents that currently still reference the previous 0-10 scale system?

Normative Reference FSC-STD-40-005, FSC-STD-20-011, FSC-DIR-40-005, FSC-STD-20-011
Requirement(s) Applies to all requirements where the CPI is mentioned
Published Friday, 06. September 2013

Yes, CPI references in FSC normative documents using the 0-10 scale system shall be converted to the new scale.
A reference to a CPI index threshold ʻ5ʼ based on the old scale system becomes a CPI index ʻ50ʼ applying the new scale


Can wood from plantations converted to non-forest use be acceptable according to Category 4 of CW Standard FSC-STD-40-005?

Normative Reference FSC-STD-40-005
Requirement(s) Annex 2 and 3.
Published Friday, 04. May 2012

Yes, wood from plantations converted to non-forest use is acceptable according to Category 4 of FSC-STD-40-005.


Within a National Initiative “unspecified risk” category, is it possible for a company to classify a smaller district as “low risk”?

Normative Reference FSC-STD-40-005 V2-1; FSC-STD-30-010.
Requirement(s) Annex 3
Published Tuesday, 31. January 2012

No, unless done at the FMU level through the process described in Annex 3 of FSC-STD-40-005. According to this standard, where national or regional interpretation or guidance relating to Annex 2 has been provided by an FSC accredited National Initiative, this interpretation shall prevail.

Other option would be that the Forest Manager got certified according to FSC-STD-30-010.


What is the definition of FMU in FSC terms and does this definition count for all references to FMU in FSC Standards, including Controlled Wood?

Normative Reference FSC-STD-40-005 V2-1
Requirement(s) Annex 2, A.3
Published Thursday, 08. December 2011

Yes, the definition of FMU is the same for all references in FSC Standards, including Controlled Wood.

Forest Management Unit (FMU):
A clearly defined forest area with mapped boundaries, managed by a single managerial body to a set of explicit objectives which are expressed in a self-contained multi-year management plan.

The term ‘management plan’ is key and taken as equivalent to that which is described in FSC Principle 7.