The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is continuing to permit remote assessments and audits where Covid-19 restrictions prevent on-site audits.
An initial six-month automatic extension to the usual timelines for assessments came into effect on 27 March 2020 and will end on 27 September 2020. The MSC has now decided to extend this period until 27 March 2021.
Chief science and standards officer at the MSC, Rohan Currey, said that businesses and supply chains were still being affected by the pandemic. “We want to reassure those engaged in our programme that we recognise the local constraints on many partners, and we will do what we can to support our partners through these unprecedented times. However we must maintain the integrity of our global certification programs for the long-term benefit of all partners,” he said.
MSC certificate holders may continue to use remote assessments where Covid-19 restrictions apply or the independent assessor considers a health risk is involved. Initial assessments of fisheries and supply chains for businesses that do not yet have a certificate will require additional risk assessments and reviews.
Chain of Custody certificate holders who are required to undergo independent labour audits still have until 28 March 2021 or the second audit in the revised standard, whichever is later, to complete these.