PEFC Council has amended para 2(D) of its guidance on auditing PEFC certified companies affected by travel and medical restrictions due to the outbreak of COVID-19 where the provision for extension of the validity of certificates has been increased from the original “…by a period of no more than three-months…” to “…no more than 12 months…” as follows:
2D. For recertification audits for which requirement 2 B of this document is not applicable, the validity of certificates may be extended by a period of no more than 12 months, which should then be reviewed as the 12 month period comes to an end, based on the current travel and medical advice. If the validity of the certificate is extended by more than three months (based on the original validity of the certificate), another surveillance audit needs to be carried out.
As soon as travel and medical restrictions are lifted, audits shall be conducted as per the applicable standard and any other applicable procedures. For any recertification audit which does not take place once the travel restrictions have been lifted, the certificate shall be suspended.
This guidance enters into force on 10 March 2020 and is applicable until PEFCCouncil revokes the guidance. The updated guidance document which contains detailed procedures for the application of this guidance, as well as specific rules for initial and re-certification audits, surveillance audits and verification of corrective actions is attached herewith for your reference.
Please contact Mr. Akmal Saarani – Senior Executive (Product) at firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any enquiries regarding this matter.