In its 87th meeting the FSC Board has approved that future reviews and revisions of FSC Principles and Criteria (P&C) and the International Generic Indicators (IGIs) will be conducted in a single process. As a result of this decision, the next review of the IGIs, which was scheduled for 2022, will be integrated into the next scheduled review of P&C in 2024.
Combining the revision of P&C and IGIs will increase the stability, reliability, and efficiency of the system, and shorten the timelines for the operationalization of new versions of the P&C. The postponing of review and revision of IGI to 2024 does not affect extraordinary and targeted revisions of the IGI due to results from other normative processes.
The Board also approved a general model for the incorporation of new and revised IGIs into national standards during the next scheduled revision of NFSS. This reduces the work for standard development groups outside normal review and revision cycles. It also reduces stakeholder fatigue, the challenge to reunite standard development groups (often dissolved once the standard development is completed), cost implications, creation of bottlenecks in the standard assessment and decision-making process. The incorporation of new or revised IGI will be implemented as follows:
For national standards which are under development or revision at the time of the approval of a new IGI version and at a stage prior to the launch of the first consultation, relevant changes to the IGI shall be addressed within the ongoing development or revision process.
For national standards which are not under development or revision or already past the launch of a first consultation in an ongoing development or revision process at the time of the approval of a new IGI version, relevant changes to the IGI shall be addressed no later than in the next scheduled regular review of those standards.
In tandem to this decision, the Board also approved the expiry dates for national standards (NFSS or standard created by a certification body) based on P&C V4. Even after rolling out of P&C V5-2 in 2015, there are still some national standards that are not transferred to P&C V5-2, either because the process was never registered, or the registered process was terminated before the completion of the process. As a result, the Board established a cut-off date for national standards created using the older P&C V4 to incentivize or force the transfer to national standards based on the newest P&C V5-2.
A national standard (National Forest Stewardship Standards or CB standard) which is based on P&C V4 will become invalid if it is not going to be replaced by a revised version based on P&C V5-2 or higher, that is:
- Submitted to PSU by 31 January 2024; and
- Approved by PSC or the Policy Steering Group by 31 December 2024.
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