2017-19 - Australian Wood Packaging Certification Scheme (AWPCS) – summary of major changes to AWPCS handbook guidelines

12 May 2017

Purpose

To advise participants in the Australian Wood Packaging Certification Scheme (AWPCS) of key amendments to the AWPCS handbook guidelines, including auditing of certified facilities.

Summary of changes and key points

  • Version 3.0 of the handbook guidelines has been released and is available on the scheme's website.
  • Information about dialectric heating as a treatment for wood packaging has been added to the definition under sub-section 1.5.
  • The option to decrease audit frequency from bi-annual to annual has been added under sub-section 5.5.1. This decrease is dependent on a facility being compliant in its previous audits, and a newly accredited facility being compliant in two biannual audits in its first year of accreditation.
    • In the event of a non-conformance, the facility will return to 6 monthly audits until they achieve two successive audits with zero non-conformities.
  • The number of minor non-conformities resulting in a major non-conformity has been increased from two to three under sub-section 5.5.2.

Background

The Grain and Seed Export Program amended the guidelines to reflect the compliant and low risk nature of the wood packaging sector. The amendments will reduce administration and improve regulatory costs, time effectiveness, and procedural fairness.

Representatives of all stakeholder groups were consulted on the proposed changes to the AWPCS guideline during a roundtable meeting on 26 February 2015, with all attendees supporting the changes.

Participant responsibilities

Scheme participants must ensure they are familiar with the handbook guideline amendments, especially in regard to the auditing of certified facilities.

Representatives of all stakeholder groups were consulted on the proposed changes to the AWPCS guideline during a roundtable meeting on 26 February 2015, with all attendees supporting the changes.

Contact information

If you have any questions regarding this IAN please email Grain Export or phone 02 6272 3229.

 

Dr Chris Parker
Assistant Secretary
Plant Export Operations Branch