National Consultation on the Review of RAP/COC held in Kuala Lumpur

The current standard for chain-of-custody certification used by the MTCC timber certification scheme since it started its operation in December 2001, the Requirements and Assessment Procedures for Chain-of-Custody Certification or RAP/COC document (dated 3 November 2000), was recently revised.

Thenew document, referred to as the Requirements for Chain-of-Custody Certification (RCOC), will be the standard used for chain-of-custody certification of wood processing or trading companies under the MTCC scheme beginning January 2006.  However, it is envisaged that assessments using the RCOC can be carried out on a voluntary basis, after April 2005.

The periodic review and updating of the chain-of-custody standard is to take into account the latest international developments as well as to incorporate best practices in chain-of-custody certification which are appropriate to local conditions in Malaysia.

The review process was initiated by MTCC in February 2004 through a letter which was sent to all the relevant stakeholder groups, informing them of the proposed review and inviting them to submit their comments and proposals for amendments to the RAP/COC document.

For the review, MTCC had proposed that the RAP/COC document be re-issued as two separate documents, i.e. the new RCOC which will set out the requirements for chain-of-custody certification, and the Assessment Procedures for Chain-of-Custody Certification which will deal with the general procedures for assessors to follow in conducting assessments for chain-of-custody certification.

The draft RCOC incorporating proposed amendments received from the stakeholders was finalized and adopted at the two-day national consultation held on 25-26 August 2004 in Kuala Lumpur, which was attended by 66 participants representing the various stakeholder groups in Malaysia.