Timber traders now have access to a new briefing note outlining changes to the leading forest certification chain of custody schemes, thanks to The Timber Trade Federation (TTF).

The TTF briefing note, which can be viewed by members on www.ttf.co.uk, provides an overview of the changes and highlights the practical implications on their businesses.

The new PEFC chain of custody (CoC) standard came into force in November last year. However, users have a year from this date to transition from the old standard to the new.

The new PEFC Chain of Custody of Forest Based Products – Requirements is similar in style to the way FSC standards are written and presented, with more clauses and providing greater detail.

“These changes should improve the overall consistency of PEFC CoC systems across the supply chain as there is less room for interpretation by users and auditors,said the TTF.

The main change to the CoC standard is the addition of social, health and safety requirements in CoC systems.

The most important change to the new FSC standard, which becomes live on October 1, concerns new requirements to a company’s approach to social issues and involvement with unacceptable forest related activities.

It also stipulates that invoices and transport documents must have ‘FSC 100%’, ‘FSC Mix Credit’ and ‘FSC Mix X%’.