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Improved communication and information-exchange between voluntary schemes in case of certification-related issues

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In response to the European biodiesel market being flooded with vast quantities of Chinese biodiesel with partially doubtful declarations of origin and feedstock, the voluntary schemes ISCC, 2BSvs, KZR Inig, RSB and REDcert have agreed to improve their already established communication channels for exchanging certification-related information.

As all schemes already provide a publicly available and up-to-date list of certificates indicating the status and scope of an economic operator’s certification, including the certification history under the particular scheme, there will now be a systematic and immediate exchange of suspended and withdrawn certificates between those schemes. The sharing of this information will contribute to the common goal of preventing economic operators from ‘scheme hopping’, as a result of suspended or withdrawn certificates. The exchange of such information allows all voluntary scheme to cross-check new applicants’ background and, in particular, their certification history and any related incidents – before they are accepted/contracted under a scheme.

The voluntary schemes have also agreed to establish a regular platform for collaboration, where system updates and continuous improvement processes can be discussed and harmonised in a mutual and proactive way.

Additional measures within the RSB System

In addition to the increased collaboration between schemes noted above, RSB’s system includes specific requirements to enhance confidence and credibility:

  1. All new applications for RSB certification are subject to a two-week public comments period during which time concerns and objections can be lodged for the RSB Secretariat and audit team to review. 
  2. RSB employs a heightened level of assurance (“Reasonable Assurance”) based on best practices from financial auditing – going beyond regulatory requirements in this respect – to ensure an adequate selection of samples and design of the audit plan.
  3. RSB works with independent third-party oversight bodies to ensure overall system quality, including CB risk assessments and witness audits.

RSB’s data collection practices, and overall system, have been analysed by third-party studies and are recognised as extremely robust.

The RSB Secretariat also periodically reviews requirements for high-risk feedstocks to ensure that integrity is maintained where RSB Certifications are employed and to ensure robust supply chain auditing.

For more information on RSB’s certification system, contact RSB Certifications Manager, George Deslandes.

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