The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) will require suspension of its certificates in armed conflict areas of Ukraine, and will allow streamlined auditing processes on certificates in areas not affected by conflict.
FSC remains determined to continue to support Ukrainian certificate holders as far as possible, and therefore will allow certification bodies – the independent auditors of FSC certificate holders – to continue their work in areas not affected by war, for example through remote audits and extending the time between audits to over a year, if required.
At the same time, FSC must continue to protect the integrity of the FSC system. In the invaded regions of Ukraine, government legislation cannot be enforced, and it is not safe for the auditors to carry out their work. These factors dramatically increase the risks of forests not being managed according to FSC’s standards, and therefore FSC has no choice but to require the suspension of the relevant certificates. The suspension will be effective 30 days from today (4 May 2022).
FSC has worked closely with colleagues based in Ukraine to provide as clear as possible guidance on where the armed conflict zones are. This is not a simple activity, considering the unpredictability of war, and FSC requests certification bodies, certificate holders and other stakeholders to make this assessment to the best of their ability. For this purpose, FSC has identified three categories of information sources regarding the location of conflict zones:
- Public sources***
- The Ukraine State Forest Resources Agency (for state-owned forests)
- Directly from local authorities within Ukraine.
Certificate holders importing FSC material from Ukraine are required to amend their supply chain due diligence to avoid sourcing from zones of armed conflict.
For more information, read FSC’s collection of policy responses related to Ukraine.
*** *Sources include, but are not limited to:
State Forest Resources Agency of Ukraine - https://forest.gov.ua/
The State Emergency Service of Ukraine - https://dsns.gov.ua/
Ministry of Defenсe of Ukraine - https://www.mil.gov.ua/
Ministry of environment protection and natural resources of Ukraine - https://mepr.gov.ua/
State Bureau of Investigation - https://dbr.gov.ua/
The Security Service of Ukraine - https://ssu.gov.ua/
The Armed Forces of Ukraine - https://www.zsu.gov.ua/
Liveuamap - https://liveuamap.com/
National police - https://www.npu.gov.ua/
State Border Guard Service of Ukraine - https://dpsu.gov.ua
Source: FSC International