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What is the MSC Chain of Custody Standard?

The MSC Chain of Custody (CoC) Standard provides assurance that certified fish and seafood products are kept separate from non-MSC certified products throughout the supply chain and that procedures are in place so they can be traced back to MSC certified sustainable fisheries.

When a product carries the MSC blue fish label, it means that every company within that supply chain must have a valid Chain of Custody certificate. To achieve and maintain CoC certification, a business must be regularly assessed against the Standard by an independent certification body. 

Chain of Custody certificates are valid for a three-year period, and businesses are subject to surveillance audits to check that they maintain proper protocols.


What is assessed?

There are five key principles that every company must meet to achieve certification.

Certified supply

Companies must purchase certified product from a supplier that has CoC certification.


MSC certified products are clearly identifiable


MSC certified products must be separated from non-certified products.

Verifiable and Recorded

MSC certified products must be verifiable and volumes must be recorded.

Good Management

Companies must have a good management system in place that addresses the requirements of the Standard.

Different businesses, different needs

The Chain of Custody Standard was last updated 2019. It consists of one default version, along with Group and Consumer-Facing Organization (CFO) versions. The Standard is reviewed every three years.

Ready for the next step?

Contact your local MSC commercial representative

Contact your local MSC commercial representative

We have commercial outreach colleagues around the world who can help get your business certified to buy and sell fish and seafood that is MSC certified sustainable.

After certification: Get new resources

After certification: Get new resources

When you have Chain of Custody certification, you're part of a global network of sustainable seafood suppliers and will have access to exclusive MSC partner marketing materials to promote your commitment to a healthy ocean.

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