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Third party certification

Under the MSC program, fisheries and seafood businesses can get certified if they meet the MSC Fisheries or Chain of Custody Standards.

To maintain impartiality, we operate a ‘third-party’ certification program.This means the MSC does not assess a fishery or business, and we do not issue certificates.

Assessments are carried out by third party conformity assessment bodies (sometimes referred to as a CABs or certification bodies).  

To ensure our complete independence from the certification process, a third party organisation - Accreditation Services International (ASI) manages the accreditation of CABs to conduct MSC assessments.

Third-party = the highest level of assurance

Third-party programs offer the highest level of assurance and ensure outcomes are 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

How we meet best practice >

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