Scope of Chain of Custody (CoC) certification was originally created with a dual purpose in order to:

  1. Inform certifiers of how their clients are handling MSC certified products, so that they can assess risk levels and plan the audit (e.g. processing, trading, distribution, etc);
  2. Provide online marketing information through the Supplier Directory, enabling buyers and sellers of MSC-certified seafood to connect. Data in the Supplier Directory comes from scope information stored in the MSC’s eCert database for each certificate holder, which has been entered by the certifier.

With recent changes in March 2013, certificate holders now only have to seek prior approval from their certifier before a scope extension for a new activity, handling Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) product for the first time or sourcing product from an under-MSC-assessment-fishery (UMAF).

However, scope information in the MSC's database is still required to be listed for each certified fishery and must include the following:

  • The activity undertaken by a company in relation to MSC certified product (e.g. packing)
  • The species (e.g. haddock)
  • The form of the MSC certified product (e.g. headed & gutted)
  • The type of storage under which the MSC certified product is held (e.g. frozen)
  • The presentation of the MSC certified product (e.g. blocks)