Technical Updates

Saturday, 03 March 2012
FSC initiates major review process for Chain of Custody standard

FSC is initiating a major review process of the FSC standard for Chain of Custody Certification (FSC-STD-40-004), the main standard for companies that manufacture, process or trade in timber and non-timber forest products. FSC-STD-40-004 was last reviewed and revised in 2007, when version 2 was approved.

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

The review process also aims to address four approved motions from the 2011 General Assembly:

  • 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 lead this review process. Stakeholders are invited to submit their applications by using the FSC application form and reviewing the terms of reference.

All submissions must be sent to Dorothee Jung (, FSC COC Policy Officer, byMarch 31, 2012.

If you have any comments or questions regarding this announcement, please contact Lucia Mayer Massaroth ( or Dorothee Jung.