I saw an email update today from the FSC International Policy and Standards Unit (PSU) staff. It was issued informally (by email) and meant as a clarification of the Advice Note issued last week (see my 10/2 post). The upshot seems to be that FSC will allow new Chain of Custody certificates to be issued in the US to companies who object to signing the self-declaration statement in FSC-PRO-20-001. The new certificate would be issued, presumably, with an outstanding Major Corrective Action Request (CAR), which is rather odd. The assumption seems to be that some acceptable solution to the situation will be arrived at before the new deadline of March 31.
So far I have not yet received word of any CoC company receiving a Major CAR for failing to sign the FSC statement. One MixedWood client audited last week was surprised when their auditor failed to even bring the subject up. We’re still unsure whether this was intentional or just an oversight. I won’t name the Certification Body (CB), but I know they are fully informed as I’ve seen copies of correspondence recently. It’s probably just a sign of the general confusion on the subject.