Current stage:

Issue Prioritisation Development Selection Implementation

Improvement overview

Where a fishery under assessment overlaps with a certified fishery, a Conformity Assessment Body (CAB) is required to coordinate the assessment to make sure the key assessment products and outcomes are harmonised.

The previous Certification Requirements did not explicitly state whether harmonised fisheries with conditions must be given the same timelines to complete the conditions or whether the timelines should be harmonised with the existing certified fisheries.

Current status

Following the SCR process, the MSC’s Technical Advisory Board (TAB) and Board of Trustees (BoT) approved new guidance to improve CAB consistency in setting the timelines for conditions in overlapping fisheries. In justified cases, this allows that later fisheries should not be always required to achieve the timelines already set in earlier fisheries.

These revisions have also been included in the Fisheries Certification Requirements version 2.0 (FCRv2.0) and in guidance documents to clarify the MSC's intent that harmonisation normally results in the same scores and conditions.

Planned work

The revised requirements issued on 1 October 2014 became effective on 1 April 2015.

  • Fisheries assessment processes (including first assessments, surveillance audits, certificate extensions and re-assessments) that commence after the effective date, 1 April 2015 have to use the new process requirements, with the exception of the RBF. The  use of the v2.0 RBF (Annex PF) with v1.3 standard is allowed only if a variation is requested.
  • Existing fisheries (in assessment or certified) have to apply the new standard  requirements in addition to the RBF requirements, at their first re-assessment commencing after 1 October 2017.
  • First full assessments that commence after the effective (i.e. 1 April 2015) date shall be conducted in accordance with the new standard requirements in FCRv2.0 in addition to using the new processes, including the RBF.

Download all current scheme documents >

Any fishery may elect to use the new process and standard requirements from publication (1 October 2014) if they wish and CABs can confirm their readiness to apply. For more information, please refer Implementation Timeframe or contact us at: