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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 that the MSC does not assess a fishery or business, and we do not issue certificates.

The assessment is carried out by an independently accredited third-party conformity assessment body (sometimes referred to as a CAB), to perform assessments of fisheries and businesses against our standards.

To ensure our complete independence from the certification process, a third party organisation - Accreditation Services International GmbH (ASI) manages the accreditation of CAB to conduct MSC assessments.The CABs have all been approved by ASI, to make sure they fully understand the requirements of the MSC standards.

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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