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Monday, 04 December 2017
FSC Publishes Revised Trademark Standard

December 4, 2017


The FSC International Board of Directors has approved the revised Trademark Standard FSC-STD-50-001 (V2-0) Requirements for use of the FSC trademarks by certificate holders. The revised standard will become effective on 1 March 2018. The standard specifies the requirements for use of the FSC trademarks on FSC-certified products, for promotion of FSC-certified products, and for promotion of the organization’s status as an FSC certificate holder.

Adherence to this standard is mandatory for all FSC certificate holders that are eligible to use the FSC trademarks. This standard also forms the basis for evaluation and approval of all certificate holders’ uses of FSC trademarks. Please read the revised standard.

Main changes
The main changes in the revised standard include the following:

  • Introduction of a trademark use management system as an alternative to submitting all intended trademark use to the certification body for approval.
  • Introduction of guidance on how to describe FSC and products with FSC claims.
  • Reduced size requirements for all marks.
  • Greater flexibility in the placement of the FSC on-product labels and in choosing labelling elements.
  • A series of advice notes and standard interpretations have been incorporated into the standard.

FSC has published a crosswalk document that compares version V1-2 with V2-0. This document indicates whether the revised text has changed the requirement and requires an actual change by certificate holders, or whether it is just a clarification, simplification, or rewording for improved understanding.

Webinars for stakeholders
FSC has organized webinars to present the main changes in the standard to stakeholders. The webinars for North American audiences will be held on December 14, 2017 from 9-10:30 EST/6-7:30 PST and January 25, 2018 from 9-10:30 EST/6-7:30 PST. Please register for a webinar.

Next steps
The standard will become effective on March 1, 2018. The period between the publication and effective date will provide certification bodies, certificate holders, and FSC sufficient time to prepare tools and processes to be used with the new version. Please note that the transition period for this normative document is 12 months, starting on March 1, 2018 and ending on February 28, 2019.

A Frequently Asked Questions document was developed to provide further information on the process. If you have any other questions, please contact the FSC Trademark Support Program at trademark@fsc.org or Jenny Anderson at j.anderson@us.fsc.org.