Policy for MarinTrust Factory and MarinTrust Chain of Custody audits amid Covid-19 outbreak

Amid the outbreak and rapid spread of COVID-19, MarinTrust wants to support its stakeholders and cause minimal disruption whilst maintaining the assurance of the programme. The stakes are twofold: it is a question of safeguarding the health and safety of  auditors and of ensuring a continuous supply of marine ingredient products from MarinTrust and MarinTrust CoC certified facilities. 

Therefore, MarinTrust has invoked its process on handling remote MarinTrust Factory and MarinTrust Chain of Custody audits. As a third party certification programme, MarinTrust does not carry out the factory audits or make decisions based on them, and this policy therefore outline the temporary requirements that will be followed by MarinTrust’s approved Certification Bodies until September 30th 2020 or until further notice - whichever comes first. More information on this policy can be found here.

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

 

Extended validity for current certificates due to expire in 2020

All Re-certification applicants to either standard whose certification is due to expire in 2020 within the validity date of this policy (30th September 2020), shall have their current certificate extended by a period of 6 months by their certification body from the date of certificate expiry. After this period, if an on-site audit cannot be done, MarinTrust together with the certification body, will decide if a remote audit would be appropriate.

Up to four additional months to conduct Annual Surveillance Audits

All certified sites are required to have an annual surveillance assessment 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*, this shall be scheduled from the 12-month due date of the surveillance and MarinTrust will permit a 4-month window allowance to complete this audit after the original 12-month due date. Where an on-site audit is still not possible, the auditors may use their remote audit checklist. Sites who undergo a remote audit shall be required to have an on-site audit within 6 months of the remote audit.

 

On-site audits still required for new applicants

All new applications to either standard shall have their onsite audit postponed for a period of 6 months or until the travel restrictions have been relaxed. This is to allow an approved auditor to conduct an on-site audit at these new facilities in a manner that is not imposing any safety issues to the auditor or the applicant.

MarinTrust sends its best wishes to all stakeholders and interested parties during this unprecedented and difficult time. If you have any further questions about how the current pandemic will affect your certification, please get in touch via standards@marin-trust.com

 

*“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/ith/2019nCoV_advice_for_international_traffic-rev/e…