Current stage:

Issue Prioritisation Development Selection Implementation

Improvement overview

Stakeholder feedback over the last few years has indicated that the MSC’s requirements for registering and changing Chain of Custody (CoC) scope were too demanding for companies, without adding to CoC integrity. The MSC made changes in March 2013 to reduce the frequency with which companies need to notify their certifier to source new MSC-certified products.

This program improvement item is created so that the MSC can further reduce the requirement on scope information. The development has now reached the implementation stage. Changes were released in MSC certification requirements (CR) version 1.4 on 31 January 2014 and become effective from 31 March 2014.

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 reduce the complexity of CoC scope requirements.

Core requirements

Based on a majority of stakeholders in favour, scope will now only cover two main categories:

  • Activities
  • Species

Information on product form, presentation, product type, and fishery will no longer be collected or maintained by certifiers; simplifying the CoC program and reducing costs, complexity, and administrative effort for certifiers and CoC holders.

The amendments listed under Annex BD and section 17 of the CR will apply as follows:

  • From 31 March 2014 all CoC holders will need to keep their certifier informed of changes to scope as defined in Table BD2
  • From 31 March 2014 all certifiers will need to maintain the MSC’s database with scope information as defined in sections 17.2, 17.5 and 17.8 in the CR version 1.4

Planned work

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.

On 31 March 2014 a new version of the MSC Supplier Directory will be published that reflects the category changes. The new changes will become effective and be fully implemented by all CABs and certificate holders from 31 March 2014.