Chain of Custody certification guide

Anyone wishing to sell MSC certified seafood must be certified to the MSC Chain of Custody Standard. This ensures that seafood sold with the blue MSC label can be traced from ocean to plate, giving your customers confidence in the integrity of your product.

There are three versions of the MSC Chain of Custody Standard to meet the needs of different types of organization:

  • Default Chain of Custody – For companies with one or a few locations that are handling or trading certified products
  • Group Chain of Custody – For organizations handling certified products at multiple sites, where every site is controlled and monitored by a head office
  • Consumer-Facing Organization Chain of Custody – For most companies of any size that sell directly to final consumers

In some circumstances, you will not require MSC Chain of Custody certification. Find out about these exception, coming soon.

 

Default Chain of Custody

Default Chain of Custody Standard is for companies operating in one or a few locations.

Examples of businesses that are eligible for Default certification:

  • A fishmonger serving final consumers and caterers with the majority of sales by volume and value going to the catering trade 
  • A seafood company with a trading office, processing facility, and storage unit

Download a guide to getting certified to the Default version of the MSC Chain of Custody Standard

Further resources

 

Group Chain of Custody

The Group version of the MSC Chain of Custody Standard is for organizations with a central office function and many locations distributing, processing, or trading MSC certified seafood.

Examples of businesses that are eligible for Group certification:

  • A co-operative with distribution centers in multiple locations
  • A trans-national seafood processing company with multiple sites
  • A company whose central office sets requirements for operations at multiple sites or franchises
  • A group of independent companies at the end of supply chain, e.g. restaurants or fish mongers, with a group certification manager

Download a guide to getting certified to the Group version of the MSC Chain of Custody Standard

Further resources

Consumer-Facing Organization Chain of Custody

The Consumer-Facing Organization version of the MSC Chain of Custody Standard is for most organizations selling direct to consumers.

Examples of businesses that are eligible for Consumer-Facing Organization certification:

  • Retailers
  • Restaurants
  • Caterers
  • Fresh fish counters

Businesses with more than one site can be certified to this version of the Standard if all of the following apply:

  • All sites are under the control of the same management system, maintained by your company’s head office
  • Your head office has an ownership or franchise relationship with each site, or a temporary right to manage all sites and staff 
  • Your head office controls seafood purchases, ensuring all sites can only order seafood from certified suppliers

Download a guide to getting certified to the Consumer-Facing Organization version of the MSC Chain of Custody Standard

Further resources

 

Exceptions: When Chain of Custody certification isn’t necessary

You do not require MSC Chain of Custody certification or an ecolabel license if you:

  • Buy pre-packed certified products that will be sold to the end consumer without being opened, re-packed, or re-labelled (consumer-ready tamper-proof products)
  • Buy certified products but do not wish to sell them as MSC certified. In this case the chain is broken and your customers may not make any claim about the product being MSC certified.

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MSC labeled fish in Stockmann, Finland

Resources for current MSC Chain of Custody certificate holders

We’ve produced tools, guides and documents to help you to buy and sell MSC certified seafood, and manage your certification.

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Contact your local MSC office

Get in touch with your local MSC office for more information.

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