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Technical Updates


Thursday, 08. March 2012
FSC starts the review process of FSC Standard for Chain of Custody Certification

FSC is initiating a major review process of the FSC standard for Chain of Custody (COC) Certification FSC-STD-40-004, following the defined review and revision cycle of FSC normative documents.


The FSC-STD-40-004 is the main standard for companies that manufacture, process or trade in timber and non-timber forest products.

The objective of this process is to review and streamline the COC standard to ensure continued relevance and effectiveness in demonstrating that materials and products purchased, labelled and sold as FSC-certified are authentic and associated claims are truthful and correct.

The review process also aims to address four approved motions of the 2011 General Assembly as pertaining to the COC standard:

  • Motion 38 calls for a chamber-balanced study to be conducted to evaluate the risks and benefits of pre-consumer material from a market, environmental and social perspective.
  • Motion 43 requests the development of a policy to guide certificate holders in communicating truthfully and transparently about FSC Mix products whose visible and characterizing components are not FSC-certified but are Controlled Wood.
  • Motion 44 calls for the revision of the COC standard and development of tools and templates to improve access for small enterprises to Chain of Custody certification.
  • Motion 45 requires FSC to examine barriers and opportunities for enhanced FSC-retailer collaboration, including improved Chain of Custody procedures.
  • Motion 46 requires FSC to clarify the intent of the Credit System.

The review process starts in April 2012, with a targeted completion by March 2013.

FSC is currently seeking applicants for the Technical Working Group that will be established to lead this review process. The terms of reference of this working group can be accessed here.

Stakeholders are invited to submit their applications for the working group, by using the application form provided by FSC.

All submissions must be sent to Dorothee Jung – COC Policy Officer by 31 March 2012.