The FSC international policy and standards unit (FSC PSU) issued a “PSU Advice” to Certification Bodies late yesterday. It is meant to address a pending crisis among a number of large US companies who are objecting to the language a required self-declaration document now required of all CoC-certified companies. The policy advice (FSC-PSU_Letter CBs_10.1.12) does what FSC does best: it defers a decision to a later date. But it doesn’t defer it much.
MixedWood has a couple of high-profile clients who have scheduled surveillance audits coming up in the next few weeks. Because they do not plan to sign the FSC statement, their auditor will have to raise a major non-conformity. Ordinarily, major NC’s have to be closed within 3 months. This advice memo extends this due date until March 31 of next year.
Will this turn out to be a non-issue or a major crisis? My best guess is that we’ll find out on March 30.