The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) began developing a standardised Chain of Custody (CoC) auditing checklist since 2011. The reasoning for this development include:

  • A standardised MSC developed checklist would increase consistency on audits across certification bodies
  • Reduce duplications in the checklist development process
  • Allow all audit data to be documented and presented in one format
  • increase the credibility of CoC certification

In October 2012, the MSC's Technical Advisory Board (TAB) signed off the single site checklist and allowed it to be released to certifiers as a non-mandatory document. Following the launch, the MSC trained certifiers on the use of the checklist. In May 2013, the MSC released the group version of the CoC checklist, also as a non-mandatory document.