Following the September 2021 release of the Australian Standard for Chain of Custody for Forest and Tree Based Products (AS 4707:2021), Responsible Wood has published a Transition Policy for certificate holders and certification bodies. The new standard supersedes AS 4707:2014 and is the Australian adoption of the PEFC International Chain of Custody Standard PEFC ST 2002:2020. But what does this mean for you as a Responsible Wood and / or PEFC-certified chain of custody certified company assessed against the Australian Standard?
Firstly, there is nothing you need to do in the short-term, as the standard has a 10-month transition period. You can continue business as normal with your certification against the 2014 version of the AS 4707 standard – your certificate remains valid, and you don’t need to change how you use the Responsible Wood and / or PEFC trademarks.
The date you need to remember is 14 August 2022. Until this date, your audits can continue to be done against the 2014 standard. However, your next audit after this date will need to be against the requirements in the 2021 standard.
Certificates issued to AS 4707:2014 will be recognised in the Responsible Wood and PEFC systems until 14th August 2023. After this date, certificates to AS 4707:2014 cease to be recognised. To remain recognised, updated certificates listing AS4707:2021 in their scope must be in place from 15th August, 2023.
For more information about the transition, please refer to the Responsible Wood Transition Policy for Australian Standard AS 4707:2021 – Chain of Custody for Forest and Tree Based Products now available for download in the Resources Library.
To be certified against the 2021 version of the standards, you will need to adapt your chain of custody management system and procedures to the revised requirements.
In November 2021, Responsible Wood CEO Simon Dorries and AS 4707 Standard Reference Committee Chair Peter Zed will be hosting a webinar introducing the new standard and its changes.
Once your management procedures are in line with the 2021 requirements, you should contact your certification and inform them that your next audit will be against the 2021 version of the Chain of Custody standard.
After you have successfully passed your audit, the certification body will present you with a certificate.