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The MSC’s Data Validation API (Application Programming Interface) is a new tool that will allow organisations to validate the certified status of fisheries, supply chain businesses, or products digitally and automatically.

How does the Data Validation API work?

The API will allow organisations to connect their software systems to the MSC's databases, allowing them to automatically validate the certified status of fisheries, businesses, or products.

Prior to the introduction of the API, organizations seeking to validate the certified status of fisheries and supply chain businesses had to do this manually by searching MSC’s Track a Fishery and Find a Supplier databases. The new API will eliminate the need for these manual searches, as well as allowing organisations to validate whether an MSC labelled consumer product is registered and approved with the MSC.

The MSC's Track a Fishery and Find a Supplier websites will continue to be updated and publicly available. MSC’s Data Validation API is an optional service, not a requirement.

What can the API do and not do?

The data available via MSC’s Data Validation API will allow stakeholders to: 

  • Check if a Fishery + Species has a valid MSC certificate
  • Check if a Chain of Custody certified company + Species has a valid MSC certificate
  • Check if a Product (using the product barcode or MSC Logo License code) is MSC certified 

Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified farms/Chain of Custody certified businesses or products

Currently, the Data Validation API is not available to validate data for the ASC. However, this service may become available in the future. Please contact your local ASC Outreach if you are interested in this service.

Note: the Data Validation API is used to validate information. It is not used to verify compliance with the MSC Chain of Custody (CoC) or Fishery certifications. This is still wholly reliant on the Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) that conduct MSC audits. If the CAB changes the certificate status as an outcome of an audit, this is reflected in the certificate status and validated via the Data Validation API. 

Which businesses are eligible to use the Data Validation API?

Any organisation looking to validate claims on MSC certified fisheries, supply chains, or products can use the MSC’s Data Validation API. Interested parties will be required to sign a license agreement (or licensing annex for an existing Ecolabel License Agreement holder with the MSC) and submit information on usage of the tool and any use of the MSC ecolabel for approval. Businesses that are interested in using MSC’s Data Validation API must also have technical support and/or knowledge on API setup and implementation.

Examples of businesses that may benefit from using the Data Validation API:

  • E-Commerce retailer selling or marketing MSC certified products and wanting to ensure MSC label is applied only to approved products
  • Traceability systems vetting certified status of fisheries, companies, and products for supply chain partners
  • Data aggregators/analysers providing market insights on MSC certified products  

How can I use the MSC ecolabel with the Data Validation API?

Use of the MSC's trademark including the MSC ecolabel, 'Marine Stewardship Council', and 'MSC' must be in line with the MSC's Ecolabel User Guide and supporting guidelines. Consumer products may only be featured as MSC certified if they are registered and approved with MSCI. For B2B use of the MSC ecolabel, certified fisheries and Chain of Custody certified businesses may be featured with an active certificate status; the API cannot validate status of non-consumer facing products. All use of the MSC ecolabel and MSC claims must be approved by the MSC/MSCI. If you have any questions on your specific use, please contact your regional MSC outreach team.

How much does the Data Validation API cost to use?

Organizations with a current MSC Ecolabel License Agreement (ELA): 

Use of the Data Validation API is included in your annual fee. You will be required to sign an annex to your current licence agreement for use of the API.  

Organizations without a current MSC Ecolabel License Agreement (ELA): 

Flat annual fee of £200 GBP per year (April 1 – March 31), invoiced immediately upon signing a licence agreement and at the beginning of the financial year thereafter. This fee includes unlimited calls.

Steps to sign up

  1. Contact your MSC regional outreach team. Contacts can also be found on regional websites, or you can submit a request on our Contact Us page. Your outreach contact will introduce you to the Data Validation API. 
  2. Review the MSC’s Data Validation Technical Guide, which is available upon request. When you are ready to learn more, you will be introduced to MSC’s Data Team to answer any technical questions on setup of the tool or use.
  3. Once you're ready to move forward with using the Data Validation API, you will be introduced to MSCI to sign a licensing agreement for use of the service - or an annex if you are a current MSC licence holder.
  4. Complete the licence agreement or annex and pay the first annual invoice, if applicable.
  5. Finalise the set-up of the Data Validation API with your team.
  6. Advertise your new MSC partnership and offering to your customers.
    Please note: all use of MSC ecolabel must be approved by your regional MSC Marketing Team or MSCI
  7. Connect with your regional outreach contact to establish reviews for how the Data Validation API is performing for you and your team and ensure you’re getting the most out of your partnership with MSC.  

Download this guidance

MSC Data Validation API Explainer
Date of issue: 16 September 2021
Download download file PDF - 1 MB
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