After a lengthy period of extensive consultations, the European Pellet Council (EPC) has concluded the revision of the ENplus certification scheme and has published the new documentation. The new requirements for certification and application come into force on January 1, 2023.
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This is the third revision of ENplus, the world-leading wood pellet quality certification scheme, since its inception over a decade ago to adapt to the constantly evolving pellet market and its needs.
The scheme certifies the entire supply chain, from the early stages of production to the delivery process. The ENplus scheme has become a widely recognized brand, trusted globally by professionals and consumers alike.
As of September 2022, there are more than 1 220 ENplus-certified companies in 48 countries.
The third revision considered feedback from a wide variety of stakeholders. On top of the Editorial Committee, an Advisory Committee including representatives of governing and certification bodies, certified companies, and end-user organizations played a crucial role and guaranteed a fair process.
Additionally, two public consultations were held to allow every actor in the pellet market to comment on the new documentation and contribute to the development of the scheme’s requirements and procedures.
Improved documentation and multisite certification
A better organized and more detailed structure of the ENplus documentation has been introduced.
The ENplus Standards now list and explain the requirements for the scheme’s key players (the certified companies and the conformity assessment bodies), the ENplus Procedural Documents define the procedures in the development and the governance of the scheme, while the Guidance Documents set out information/interpretations on specific topics.
Some of the key changes provide new solutions for certified companies. For instance, a single company with multiple trading or production sites or a group of legal entities (production or trading activities) managed by a central office can now take advantage of the option for a single certificate as a multisite company.
The revised documentation introduces even more stringent control over the quality of the certified products.
In addition to the initial, annual surveillance and re-certification inspections onsite, one unannounced annual collection of samples and testing of pellets has been introduced for certified producers, as well as traders and service providers with bagging activities.
Certified companies should also meet a new set of chain-of-custody
requirements guaranteeing that only certified pellets reach the market as such.
All companies applying for certification after January 1, 2023, must comply with the new requirements. Companies certified before January 1, 2023, have the advantage of a one-year transition period and must comply with the new requirements by January 1, 2024.