Reviewing MSC standards — MSC
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Reviewing MSC standards

To ensure that the MSC program remains fit for purpose as the world’s leading certification program of wild capture fisheries the MSC standards are reviewed regularly.

Chain of custody program review - now open

On 1 August until 15 September, the MSC will launch a second and final round of public consultation as part of the 2014 Chain of Custody (CoC) program review. This is to ensure the standard remains consistent with the requirements of FAO and the  ISEAL codes of practice.

The review allows us to evaluate the CoC standard and to ensure the program addresses important sustainable seafood traceability challenges faced globally.

Fisheries standard review

A review of our sustainable fishing standard took place in 2013. The review focussed on the MSC Default Assessment Tree and other fishery client performance requirements. In addition, a Speed and Cost review was undertaken to reform the fishery assessment process in order to reduce the time, cost and complexity of certification. The reviews have now reached the final stages of testing prior to sign-off. To ensure that the new version of the MSC fisheries standard and requirements are clear and consistent, the requirements will be reviewed and tested until September 2014.

Find out more about the fishery standard review and speed & cost review.

How MSC standards are reviewed

The standards are maintained by the MSC Technical Advisory Board and undergo an official review every 5 years in which stakeholder consultation is central. Reviews follow the MSC Standard Setting Procedure that was developed with peer review and stakeholder involvement and updated in January 2013.

Changes to the standards may be proposed by the Technical Advisory Board, the MSC Board of Trustees, the Stakeholder Council or by the MSC Executive. Any changes that are made to the standards undergo online and in-person consultations to ensure that all interested parties can comment. The Interested Parties Advisory Committee, for which the Stakeholder Council may propose members, then reviews the comments and inputs of stakeholders alongside the technical content of the changes. Formalisation of changes only occurs after an extensive cycle of consultation with stakeholders.

Download the MSC standard setting procedure

Comment on the MSC standards and requirements

You can comment on or make a complaint against the MSC Standards and requirements at any time. Please save, complete and submit your feedback using the MSC standards comments form.

Contact us

For further information please email

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