The MTCC timber certification scheme, which began operation in October 2001, is being implemented using a phased approach. The certification standard currently used for assessing Forest Management Units (FMUs) is the Malaysian Criteria, Indicators, Activities and Standards of Performance for Forest Management Certification dated 4 October 2001 [MC&I(2001)], which is based on the ITTO Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Management of Natural Tropical Forests.
In line with the phased approach, MTCC had announced, through its Press Release dated 26 August 2003, its intention to use the new standard entitled Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification and dated 30 October 2002 [MC&I(2002)], which is based on the Principles and Criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The MC&I(2002) was finalised and adopted by consensus at the National-level Consultation held on 28-30 October 2002 in Kuala Lumpur. The MC&I(2002) is currently being field-tested, following which it will be refined to take into account the results of the field tests.
A target date of 1 January 2005 has been set to start using the MC&I(2002) to assess all FMUs for the purpose of forest management certification under the MTCC scheme.
In order to ensure a smooth transition to the use of the MC&I(2002), MTCC has decided on the following deadlines and arrangements which need to be complied with by parties already certified by MTCC as well as new applicants for certification:
Forest Management Certification
- New Applicants
(i) All new applications by FMUs for forest management certification against the MC&I(2001) must be received by MTCC at the latest by 30 September 2004.
(ii) The Certificate for Forest Management awarded to applicants who submitted their applications to MTCC before 30 September 2004 and have been found to comply with the MC&I(2001) shall be valid until 31 December 2005.
(iii) With effect from 1 January 2005, the assessment for all new applications by FMUs for forest management certification will be conducted against the MC&I(2002).
(iv) The Certificate for Forest Management awarded to applicants who have been found to comply with the MC&I(2002) shall be valid for a period of five years.
- Holders of Certificate for Forest Management
(i) FMUs holding the Certificate for Forest Management which is valid until 31 December 2005 will be allowed to undergo surveillance visits against the MC&I(2001) in 2005. However, no surveillance visits against the MC&I(2001) will be allowed after 31 December 2005.
(ii) Beginning 1 January 2006, FMUs previously holding the Certificate for Forest Management will have to undergo assessment against the MC&I(2002).
(iii) During 2005, Certificate holders undergoing surveillance assessment against the MC&I(2001) will also have to undergo assessment against the MC&I(2002) at the same time.
(iv) A new Certificate for Forest Management will be awarded to FMUs who have been found to comply with the MC&I(2002) and the Certificate shall be valid for a period of five years. The earlier Certificate will simultaneously be withdrawn.
- New Applicants and Holders of Certificate for Chain-of-Custody
(i) Procedures for application for the Certificate for Chain-of-Custody and for surveillance visits of certified companies, as well as the validity period of the Certificate for Chain-of-Custody, will not be affected by the change to the use of the MC&I(2002).
In view of MTCC’s decision to use the MC&I(2002) beginning January 2005, all current Certificates for Forest Management based on the MC&I(2001) shall be valid until 31 December 2005. This is to allow a one year transition period (2005) during which the existing certified FMUs will be in possession of the certificate while they undergo assessment to the MC&I(2002).
All managers of FMUs therefore should be fully aware of the above-mentioned deadlines and arrangements. They are also advised to familiarise themselves with the requirements of the MC&I(2002) in order to prepare themselves for these changes. The MC&I(2002) can be obtained from the MTCC office or downloadedfrom this web site.
Please contact the MTCC office at 03-92005008 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any enquiry on this matter.
Click HERE for a Diagrammatic Presentation of the Deadlines and Arrangements for Use of MC&I(2002) by the MTCC Timber Certification Scheme