The MSC Chain of Custody (CoC) standard for sustainable seafood traceability exists to ensure the MSC ecolabel is only displayed on seafood that has originated from MSC certified sustainable fisheries.

First published in 2000 (v1), the CoC standard has been through two major revisions, one in 2005 (v2) and another in 2011 (v3), with the next version's anticipated launch for 2015.

To achieve CoC certification, companies must meet all four of the current CoC standard (v3) principles:

  • Having a management system
  • Operating a traceability system
  • Ensuring all certified products are identified
  • Not substituting certified products with non-certified products

These principles are assessed and evaluated by an independent third-party Conformity Assessment Body (CAB).

Scope of the 2014 Chain of Custody Program Review

Based on stakeholder feedback and considering resources and priorities, the following four key objectives have been identified and signed off by the Board in January 2014:

  1. Support increased consumer-facing operator engagement in the MSC program
  2. Improve the credibility and rigour of the CoC system
  3. Enhance the clarity and simplicity of requirements
  4. Achieve greater efficiencies for CoC certified companies, certifiers, and MSC

The areas that will not be included in the scope of 2014 CPR include:

  1. Incorporating quality standards into the CoC standard
  2. Adding environmental impacts (e.g. carbon, water, etc.) into the CoC standard
  3. Incorporating social standards for supply chain companies
  4. Incorporating an online transaction or traceability solution as part of the revised standard and requirements