Update on international approval / endorsement process for UKWAS 5

The international approval / endorsement process for UKWAS 5 being taken forward by FSC UK and PEFC UK is well underway. The detailed assessment of the UKWAS 5 pre-approval draft is being undertaken by the schemes’ international bodies.

The target date for UKWAS 5 was set at 1st April 2023 as it is the fifth anniversary of the effective date for UKWAS 4.

A meeting was held with the two schemes to review progress and to consider how best to achieve a synchronised timeline for the launch of UKWAS 5.

Whilst it is impossible to predict with certainty when the PEFC endorsement and FSC approval processes will be completed, the target effective date of 1st April 2023 is almost certainly not going to be achieved by both schemes.

Scheme approval / endorsement is generally subject to some conditions in which case, as in past revisions, work might be needed to ensure that UKWAS 5 text is aligned with the requirements of both schemes.

The best estimate is for a revised UKWAS 5 effective date to be in Quarter 3 or Quarter 4 of 2023 and the aim is for both schemes to have completed their processes before UKWAS 5 is launched.

UKWAS will continue to work closely with FSC UK and PEFC UK to monitor progress and updates will be provided when there is greater clarity on the timeline. Meanwhile, UKWAS 4 will remain current until the launch of UKWAS 5.