Current stage:

Issue Prioritisation Development Selection Implementation

Improvement overview

To make it easier for Chain of Custody (CoC) certificate holders to change certifiers, and to ensure a consistent structure for CoC codes, the MSC recommends adopting a new system of MSC-generated CoC codes. This would replace the current system, where CoC codes are individually generated by each certifier, and would allow certificate holders to maintain one CoC code for the entire time they are certified.

This program improvement has now reached the implementation stage. Changes were released in CR version 1.4 on 31 January 2014 and become effective from 31 March 2014.

Current status

Following 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, the proposal for MSC to introduce MSC-generated CoC codes has been approved.


Core requirements

MSC generated codes will eventually replace the existing certifier-generated codes, and companies will have three years to transition packaging and other materials displaying their previous CoC codes. During this period, both old codes and new codes will be searchable and valid on the MSC Find a Supplier website.

Planned work

A communication explaining the changes to companies and certifiers will be issued in January 2014 along with their MSC CoC codes.

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

The amendments to requirements for CoC codes will apply as follows:

  • From 31 March 2014, all new CoC applicants will be assigned by their CAB a CoC code automatically generated from the MSC database, starting at MSC-C-54001
  • Existing CoC holders have until 1 April 2017 to phase in their new code on and off product. These codes will start at MSC-C-54001 and be assigned to CoC holders in chronological order from when they first joined the MSC CoC program.