Background

The MSC Chain of Custody (CoC) certification requirements (CR) contains instructions for certifiers related to CoC certification.

In 2014, the MSC has included this document as part of its CoC Program Review topics. The objective is to ensure the new CoC CR is more clear, logical and accessible for certifiers and stakeholder.

Certificate holders will no longer have to consult the CR annexes (BC and BD) to find relevant information, as all certificate holder requirements will be included in the CoC standard (see current consultation on new CoC standard). The restructured CR, as proposed, should make the document easier for certifiers and auditors to use and should reduce questions, misunderstandings, and inconsistent interpretation.

Surveillance audits should become more straightforward with the proposed changes. The only group of companies likely to experience a notable change in surveillance frequency are those currently on 6 month audits (about 10% of global certificate holders – however, audits for some of these will become longer with the minimum duration proposed). Proposed changes to the CoC audit process should help ensure CoC audits are more thorough and effective at detecting potential risks of mislabelling; however, they should not increase costs or effort for clients.