COVID-19

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic there may be delays in the process of certification. In order to avoid delays where possible, MarinTrust would like to note that anyone wishing to recertify to the programme must submit their recertification applications at least six months prior to their certificate expiry date. Anyone wishing to notify MarinTrust of changes or additions to their scope must submit scope extension applications at least two months prior to scheduled audits.

Remote Audit Policy

MarinTrust’s Remote Audit Policy shall be valid until further notice.

This Policy will be reviewed on a monthly basis, and amended where applicable, due to the fast-changing nature of this extraordinary event.

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and taking into consideration both the welfare of all those involved in the MarinTrust certification system and travel restrictions that are being put in place, MarinTrust has declared that it has invoked its Process on Handling Remote MarinTrust Factory and MarinTrust Chain of Custody Audits during Extraordinary Events or Circumstances with immediate effect. 

Covid Policy – Last updated 04 May 2021 – Version 1.4

Process on Handling Remote MarinTrust Factory and MarinTrust Chain of Custody Audits during Extraordinary Events of Circumstances – Last updated 04 May 2021 – Version 1.3

MarinTrust Auditing Options and Scenarios

MarinTrust has agreed that for all MarinTrust audits to either its Factory Standard or its Chain of Custody Standard the following requirements shall need to be followed by its approved Certification Bodies. 

New Applicants

For all new applicants to the MarinTrust programme these shall be processed and made audit ready until the CB can execute the audit onsite following the agreed certification procedures and requirements. All new applications to either standard shall have their onsite audit postponed until the travel restrictions for the relevant location have been relaxed sufficiently to allow an approved auditor to conduct an on-site audit at these new facilities in a manner that is not imposing any COVID-19 related safety issues to the auditor or the applicant. CBs will be expected to arrange onsite audits as soon as possible after relevant restrictions are lifted.

Surveillance Audits

All certified sites shall be required to have the annual surveillance audit to maintain the continuity of their certificate for either the MarinTrust Factory Standard or the MarinTrust CoC Standard. Where an on-site audit is not possible in affected areas[1], the CB shall conduct a Risk Assessment and follow guidance in table 1.

Re-certification Audits

All recertification applicants to either the MarinTrust Factory Standard or MarinTrust Chain of Custody Standard whose certification is due to expire within the validity date of this policy, shall have their current certificate extended by a period of up to 6 months by their CB from the date of certificate expiry. If an on-site audit cannot be completed within this time, the CB shall conduct a Risk Assessment and follow guidance in table 1.

Table 1 – remote auditing options based off allocated level of risk of the facility by Certification Bodies  
Risk Surveillance Recertification
Low
  • Audit(s) can be conducted remotely, with video technology with an interactive capability.
  • If 2 consecutive surveillance audits have been conducted remotely, the next recertification audit will be required to be onsite.
  • Audit(s) can be conducted remotely, with video technology with an interactive capability if only the 1 previous surveillance audit was conducted remotely. The next audit will be required to be onsite to verify MarinTrust clause requirements that cannot be verified (or only partially verified) remotely.
  • Where the 2 previous surveillance audits were conducted remotely, the recertification audit must be onsite.
Medium
  • Audit can be conducted remotely if the previous audit was conducted onsite. However;

-  an onsite audit must be conducted within 6-months to provide assurance that clause requirements not able to be assessed (or only partially verified) remotely are fully complied with.

- If during the remote audit it was possible to fully verify all clauses of the relevant standard the following onsite audit shall follow the normal audit frequency of 12 months and must be conducted onsite.

  • Where the previous audit was conducted remotely, a second remote audit may be conducted remotely provided the video technology used at the previous audit allowed all criteria to be assessed fully. The next audit shall be conducted onsite within 12 months.
  • Audit can be conducted remotely if the previous audit was conducted onsite. However;

-  an onsite audit must be conducted within 6-months to provide assurance that clause requirements not able to be assessed (or only partially verified) remotely are fully complied with.

- If during the remote audit it was possible to fully verify all clauses of the relevant standard the following onsite audit shall follow the normal audit frequency of 12 months and must be conducted onsite.

  • Where the previous audit was conducted remotely, a second remote audit may be conducted remotely provided the video technology used at the previous audit allowed all criteria to be assessed fully. The next audit shall be conducted onsite within 12 months.
High
  • Audit cannot be undertaken remotely, however, the CB may contact MarinTrust secretariat directly to discuss options if applicable 
  • Audit cannot be undertaken remotely, however, the CB may contact MarinTrust secretariat directly to discuss options if applicable.


[1] “Affected areas” are considered those countries, provinces, territories or cities experiencing ongoing transmission of COVID-19, in contrast to areas reporting only imported cases.” https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/travel-advic
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