Current stage:

Issue Prioritisation Development Selection Implementation

Improvement overview

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) released the first version of the Chain of Custody (CoC) audit checklist in January 2013 as a non-mandatory document for certifiers to use for CoC audits. Since the launch of the MSC CoC group and single site checklists, the feedback received from certifiers has generally been positive.The checklists were voluntarily adopted by 12 out of 24 CABs and they welcome the comprehensive nature and technical functions of the checklist.

This program improvement item was created to address feedback received from CABs including some queries on logistics and guidance for use. The development of this item has now reached implementation. New versions of the checklists were released on 31 January 2014 and will become mandatory for all CABs to use during audits by 31 March 2015.

Current status

A series of public consultations, workshops with CABs, meetings of the MSC's Technical Advisory Board (TAB) and Board of Trustees (BoT) took place between 2013 and early 2014 to discuss on the option of making the checklists mandatory. The proposal was supported provided that initial issues raised with IT problems and readability were resolved.


Core requirements

The MSC CoC audit checklists will now become mandatory for all CABs to use during CoC audits. Two checklist templates are available to download:

  • Single / multi-site CoC checklist
  • Group CoC checklist

The new version of the MSC Certification Requirements (CR) version 1.4 requires that the MSC CoC audit checklists be used by all CABs.

Planned work

The revised checklists and guidance were published along the MSC CR version 1.4 on 31 January 2014 and are available to download at the MSC website.

CABs and CoC auditors must use the checklist for all audits by 31 March 2015. (Translated versions of the checklists will be available in: German, French, Mandarin, Spanish and Japanese)