European accreditation bodies ready to offer accreditation for the 2020 chain of custody standards
9 April 2021 PEFC system news
Following the positive evaluation of the PEFC chain of custody by the European co-operation for Accreditation (EA), European accreditation bodies can now provide accreditation against the 2020 PEFC Chain of Custody and Trademarks standards.
This decision enables certification bodies to update their accreditation and clears the way for thousands of PEFC-certified companies worldwide to transition to the 2020 chain of custody standards. Furthermore, companies looking to achieve PEFC certification have the opportunity to be certified against the 2020 standards.
In addition, we have extended the transition period by six months, to 14 August 2022, to give accreditation and certification bodies more flexibility. After this date, all certification bodies must be accredited against the 2020 standards and all chain of custody audits carried out against the 2020 standards.
A little background
In February 2020, PEFC published the 2020 versions of three vital international standards: Chain of Custody (ST 2002), PEFC Trademarks (ST 2001) and Certification Body Requirements - Chain of Custody (ST 2003).
Certification bodies need to be accredited against both the 2020 PEFC Trademarks and Chain of Custody standards before they can offer PEFC chain of custody certification against the 2020 PEFC Chain of Custody standard. Certification bodies can find out more about this process here.
In Europe, EA applies a process called ‘EA Procedure and Criteria for the Evaluation of Conformity Assessment Schemes by EA Accreditation Body Members’ (EA-1/22) to decide whether a standard can be accepted by an accreditation body for accreditation.
As a scheme owner, PEFC needed the PEFC Chain of Custody standards to comply with EA 1/22 requirements to enable European certification bodies to be accredited against the 2020 standards.
On 6 April 2021, following a thorough assessment by ACCREDIA, the Italian accreditation body and so called “home AB” for PEFC, EA confirmed that the PEFC Chain of Custody of Forest and Tree Based Products scheme based on product certification (ISO/IEC 17065) is now considered acceptable by European national accreditation bodies, and EA members (European accreditation bodies) can now start accreditation of certification bodies.