Technical Updates

Tuesday, 14 November 2023
Public Consultation is Open for FSC US Proposal to Increase the US COC Group Eligibility Criteria   

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Group Chain of Custody (COC) was created to allow small enterprises to access FSC certification, with the following types of producers in mind: Artisan wood workers, portable sawmill operators, small sawmills, carpenters, joiners and small hauling companies. While there is a global threshold established, FSC recognized that there are large variations in economic development between countries and in the different productive sectors within each country. As a result, the FSC Group Policy was developed to allow national-level definitions of small organizations.

In 2010, FSC US (an FSC national office) established COC Group Eligibility Criteria for the U.S. that defined small organizations as having a total annual turnover forest products is no more than $5 million USD. The definition did not include any restrictions on the number of employees.

Due to stakeholder requests, FSC US is now proposing an increase in the US FSC COC Group Eligibility Criteria to no more than $10 million USD annual forest product turnover or 25 full time equivalent employees. Also included in the proposal is an increase of the annual forest product turnover amount tied to the same percentage increase that FSC adjusts the FSC Annual Administrative Fee. The changes in eligibility will allow many existing FSC COC Group members to remain part of a group certificate and may add new FSC COC group members.  

FSC provides FSC National Offices the ability to change the FSC COC Group Member Criteria for their country through following FSC-PRO-40-003 V1-1. FSC US is seeking public stakeholder consultation from October 30 through November 30, 2023. The proposal, supporting research, and supporting documents can be found on the Consultation Platform here.

For additional questions, comments, or if there is difficulty with the consultation platform, please contact Jenna Mueller at