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SGS has made an application to expand its accreditation network for the FSC Chain-of-Custody certification program to be able to better and respond faster to the needs of our customers across geographical regions. Consistent with the plan, SGS will split the accreditation for FSC Chain-of-Custody certification with three separate SGS offices holding accreditation on behalf of the SGS group.

This new structure will comprise the following:

  • Accreditation held by SGS North America for all Chain-of-Custody certification in Canada and the USA
  • Accreditation held by SGS Hong Kong for China, Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam
  • Accreditation held by SGS South Africa for all remaining SGS offices

The new structure will ensure that service delivery to clients in the chain-of-custody field will be more efficient, with shorter turn-around times and to a large extent, technical support in their own language. From an accreditation perspective, control over the performance of certificate holders will be more immediate and thus ensure that accreditation requirements are maintained at a consistently high level, for a high and growing number of certificates.

Certificate holders will still, as in the past, communicate directly with the SGS office in their own country. For stakeholders, SGS will maintain a single email contact address and messages for the various SGS accredited offices will be relayed internally. This will minimize confusion and ensure that stakeholder communication with SGS related to FSC Chain-of-Custody certification remains seamless. SGS will also continue to communicate general information and the list of certified companies through its current website, www.sgs.com/forestry.

The different accredited offices within SGS would in terms of this scheme, be directly responsible to FSC and Accreditation Services International (ASI) for the certificates issued under their accreditation. The certificate numbers, however, will clearly indicate the SGS accredited office from which the certificate was issued, e.g. for North America the certificate number may take the form of SGS-NAM-CoC-123456.

SGS has now submitted applications to ASI for the accreditation of the offices in North America and Hong Kong. It is envisaged that ASI will be able to schedule the accreditation audits within the next 3 months with final accreditation achieved by April 2009. Stakeholders will however be kept informed of progress in this regard, through the SGS website for forest certification.

SGS South Africa will remain the sole entity responsible for managing the accreditation for FSC Forest Management certification on behalf of the entire SGS group until further notice.

The SGS Group is the global leader and innovator in inspection, verification, testing and certification services. Founded in 1878, SGS is recognized as the global benchmark in quality and integrity. With over 53,000 employees, SGS operates a network of almost 1,000 offices and laboratories around the world. SGS is the market leader in Forestry Chain-of-Custody certification.

For further information, please contact:

Gerrit Marrais
Director
SGS Qualifor Program
t: +27 13 7641577