Third party certification
Under the MSC program, fisheries and businesses can get certified if they meet the MSC standard for sustainable fishing or seafood traceability.
To maintain impartiality, the MSC operates a ‘third-party’ certification programme. This means that MSC itself does not issue certificates. Certificates are issued by certifiers who are independently accredited to be able to perform assessments of fisheries and businesses against the MSC standards.
To ensure our complete independence from the certification process a third organisation, Accreditation Services International GmbH (ASI), manages the accreditation of certifiers to conduct MSC assessments.
Third-party: The highest level of assurance
Third-party programs offer the highest level of assurance and means that the outcome is unbiased:
- First party: An organisation, product or service meets standards it has set for itself
- Second-party: It meets standards established by peers, for example by an industry association
- Third-party (‘certification’): An independent assessment shows that the organisation, product or service meets standards that have been established by impartial experts, often in consultation with stakeholders. A certificate is issued to prove that the standard has been met.
Meeting best practice guidelines
Operating a third party certification and ecolabelling program ensures our program is robust, credible and meets best practice guidelines for standard-setting organisations as set out by ISEAL and the FAO.