Updated Chain of Custody Program — Marine Stewardship Council
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Updated Chain of Custody Program

From 1 September 2015, all certified companies are required to transition to the new version of the Chain of Custody Standard at their next audit.

Key updates:

  1. The MSC has made a number of changes to its existing Chain of Custody Standard and auditing process. The revision gives greater clarity, accessibility, rigour and efficiency.
  2. The updated Chain of Custody Standard now consists one main (Default) version along with Group and Consumer Facing Organisation versions.
  3. The optional Consumer Facing Organisation version has been developed specifically to work better for businesses selling certified products directly to final consumers, such as restaurants, fishmongers and fresh fish counters. 
  4. Clearer requirements for identification and traceability of certified products.
  5. More specific requirements for companies to confirm the certified status of products upon receipt, and to ensure they only purchase from certified suppliers.
  6. Revised requirements for 'under-assessment product' (formerly 'UMAF') – now only fisheries, farms, or organisations that are named members of the fishery / farm client group will be eligible to buy or store under-assessment product.
  7. A more equitable and consistent approach on surveillance audits – Most companies will now have annual surveillance audits, with very specific categories of organisations qualifying for a reduced 18-month frequency.
  8. A small percentage of surveillance audits (minimum 1% of clients for each certification body) will now be carried out as unannounced audits.

Read or download the summary of changes

This document has been translated and is available in:
Danish | English (UK) | English (US) | Finnish | French | German | Japanese | Mandarin | Norwegian | Spanish | Swedish | Russian | Vietnamese

The entire Chain of Custody program was reviewed in 2014 for greater accessibility and clarity to the MSC certification scheme. Thank you to all stakeholders that contributed throughout the review process. We received feedback from over 200 supply chain representatives and expert stakeholders worldwide. The revised program is more straightforward and applicable to a wide range of companies along the supply chain.

Explore the development process of specific Chain of Custody topics >

Read the Chain of Custody Program Review Stakeholder Engagement Report >

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