When you have Chain of Custody certification you're part of a global network of traceable, sustainable seafood supplies.
Buy and sell MSC certified seafood
You can find suppliers around the world with MSC Chain of Custody certificates using our Find a supplier directory.
Promote your certification with the MSC label
The blue MSC label is one of the most effective tools to communicate sustainability to seafood consumers and can be found on over 25,000 products in around 100 countries.
What's my MSC Chain of Custody code?
When you are certified, the MSC will generate a Chain of Custody code for use in documentation.
Where can I find my supplier’s, customer’s or my code?
You can check on our Find a supplier directory.
Will my code ever change?
In the majority of cases, your code will remain the same for the entire time you are certified. Your code would only change under rare circumstances, for example:
- If you had a single-site certificate and join an existing group or multi-site certificate, you would need to adopt the existing multi-site certificate code.
- If you were previously part of a multi-site or group certificate and left to obtain a separate single-site Chain of Custody certificate, you would be assigned a new code.
What if something changes?
If your operations change during your 3-year Chain of Custody certification, you will need to report these to your certifier.
When to report changes to your certifier:
|Changes||Requirements for informing your certificate holders|
Notify within 2 days of detecting the issue
Inform within 10 days of the change occurring, or within 10 days of:
Inform before the change occurs
The certification body will provide written approval of this change and may require an on-site or remote audit before authorising any changes
Inform during surveillance and re-certification audits
The certificate holder can agree more frequent reporting with the certification body if they wish
|For CFO certificate holder: updating your site list ||Inform within 5 days of receiving a request from your certification body|
Handling under-assessment product
Under-assessment product, formerly known as “Under-MSC-Assessment Fish” (UMAF), relates to seafood harvested while a fishery is undergoing assessment to the MSC Fisheries Standard, before it is certified but after a designated ‘Eligibility Date’. This assessment process usually takes around 18 months to complete.
Companies can only buy and store under-assessment product if they are:
- part of a fishery undergoing assessment,
- part of a farm undergoing ASC assessment, or
- a named member of the client group for a fishery/farm.
Eligible companies must retain ownership of the product until the fishery/farm is certified, but they are able to use third party storage or subcontractors to handle the product where needed.
Companies eligible to handle under-assessment product must ensure that it:
- Is clearly identified and segregated
- Is traceable back to another certified business
- Is not sold or labelled as 'certified' or with the ecolabel until the source fishery or farm has been certified.
ASC Chain of Custody
All Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified companies are assessed to the MSC Chain of Custody Standard.
If you are already certified for MSC Chain of Custody and want to handle ASC certified products, your certifier will need to conduct a risk assessment. In most cases, certifiers will be able to issue certificates for ASC products without having to conduct an onsite audit. Companies certified to handle both MSC and ASC certified products receive two separate certificates - one for ASC Chain of Custody and one for MSC Chain of Custody.
Changes to the Standard
The MSC Chain of Custody Standard is reviewed and updated at least every three years. Smaller changes to the Certification Requirements may be incorporated more frequently.
We value your input and run consultations on any significant changes. Find out more about developing the MSC Standards.
Raising a complaint about your certifier
All MSC certifiers are accredited by Assurance Services International (ASI). All certifiers have a formal complaints procedure. If you need to raise a complaint about your certifier/an auditor, please use your certifier’s complaints procedure as a first step. You can find this on their website, or request it from them directly. If you are not satisfied with their response, you can raise a complaint directly with ASI.
We're here to help
We have commercial outreach colleagues around the world who can help with getting your business certified to sell fish and seafood with the blue MSC label.
Find your local MSC commercial representative