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Wednesday, 30 October 2013
Update on the Online Claims Platform (OCP)

FSC provides an update on the Online Claims Platform and launches a public consultation on associated Advice Note


FSC is working with Historic Futures to develop a cloud-based internet platform to record all FSC claims. When completed, the OCP will work alongside the existing FSC Chain of Custody system. The OCP will allow FSC Certificate Holders (CHs) to make claims through a variety of methods via an internet platform thus ensuring the integrity of FSC is maintained in a scalable way.

After receiving important feedback from certificate holders, certification bodies and national offices, the Online Claims Platform (OCP) implementation timeline is now available and explained below. To ease implementation and allow Certificate Holders adequate time to test the full functionality of the OCP, a limited number of steps will be required in 2014. These steps focus on providing the most benefits with the least amount of effort.

Beginning April 2014, all Certificate Holders will be required to register for the OCP, verify that the public certificate information (based on info.fsc.org) is correct, and connect with their suppliers. If the public certificate data is incorrect, the relevant Certification Body will be informed of the changes required through the OCP. The OCP will be used as a tool to revise incorrect data in info.fsc.org.

Registering and connecting will be similar to, and as simple as, starting a Facebook or LinkedIn account and sending a “new connection” request. The process will improve the data provided at www.info.fsc.org as well as notify Certificate Holders whenever a supplier’s certificate changes.

All Certificate Holders will have the opportunity starting mid November 2013 to test the OCP in a test “sandbox” environment. Purchase claims can be entered but these records will not be permanent. After the OCP has been thoroughly tested, we will set a specific date to require CHs to begin entering claims (purchases) in 2015. A decision will be taken at the March 2014 FSC Board of Directors meeting.

As the OCP is implemented, it will deliver the following benefits:
• The information held at info.fsc.org will be more accurate and up-to-date.
• Certificate Holders and OCP subscribers will be automatically notified of changes in the scope or status of FSC supplier certificates.
• Summary information will be available from the OCP to assist with annual audit processes, e.g. confirmed supplier list, FSC product volume information by product type (where recorded).
• Some information will also be available to assist with trade compliance processes, e.g. country of harvest and species information.
• Improved confidence in FSC’s systems of control, potentially increasing demand for, and value of products that carry an FSC claim or logo.

From 1st April 2014, all FSC certificate holders shall: 
a) Register to use the OCP;
b) Confirm that organisation’s certificate data (for example: legal name, contact details and product groups) in the CH’s OCP account is correct and up-to-date;
NOTE: The certificate data will be displayed in the organisation’s OCP account. If information is incorrect, the organisation can make changes to their certificate data in the OCP.
c) Issue connection requests to all FSC certified suppliers of the organisation; and accept appropriate connection requests from buyers of certified products from the organisation within one (1) calendar month.

FSC invites public comment on the FSC Advice note for the Online Claims Platform. The Advice Note has been drafted to facilitate implementation of the Online Claims Platform. All stakeholders are invited to participate in the consultation process. The deadline for comments is 29th December 2013.

The Comment Form can be downloaded from the FSC International website.



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