Revision to the Chain of Custody Standard

The FSC Board of Directors has approved revised FSC chain-of-custody standards FSC-STD-40-004 V3-0 and FSC-STD-20-011 V4-0. The revised standards will become effective on 1 April 2017.


Updates to the revision process are emailed to stakeholders, announced in the newsletter and posted on this page.

To stay up to date, Sign up for the FSC Australia New Zealand Newsletter here.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Published

27th March 2017: On 1 January 2017, the FSC Board of Directors approved the revised FSC Chain of Custody standards FSC-STD-40-004 V3-0 and FSC-STD-20-011 V4-0. The revised standards will become effective on 1 April 2017. This document presents FAQs on the revised standards.


Crosswalk comparing V3-0 and V2-1

5th March 2017: This crosswalk has been created to assist in identifying the differences between the new standard version (V3-0) and the previous version (V2-1).


Now Available, Webinar on the revised FSC Chain of Custody Standards

8th February 2017: The main purposes of this revision process was to simplify and streamline the chain-of-custody certification. Requirements have been simplified, including the addition of illustrative examples, tables, and graphics to clarify key concepts.

Access the webinar about the changes online.


FSC Publishes Revised Chain of Custody Standards

15 January 2017: The FSC Board of Directors has approved revised FSC chain-of-custody standards FSC-STD-40-004 V3-0 and FSC-STD-20-011 V4-0. The revised standards will become effective on 1 April 2017.

The two revised standards are:
FSC-STD-40-004 V3-0 Chain of Custody Certification (applicable to organisations that manufacture and trade FSC certified products)
FSC-STD-20-011 V4-0 Chain of Custody Evaluations (applicable to certification bodies evaluating organisations against FSC-STD-40-004)

What were the main aims of the revision?
The main purposes of this revision process was to simplify and streamline the chain-of-custody certification. Requirements have been simplified, including the addition of illustrative examples, tables, and graphics to clarify key concepts.

What do the main content changes include?

  • New transaction verification requirements:
    A new clause has been added requiring businesses to support transaction verification conducted by its certification body and Accreditation Services International (ASI), by providing samples of FSC transaction data as requested by the certification body. Further information on this will be communicated in the first quarter of 2017.
  • What is transaction verification and why is it important?
    Transaction verification is verification by certification bodies and/or Accreditation Services International (ASI) that FSC output claims made by certificate holders are accurate and match with the FSC input claims of their trading partners. Ensuring the accuracy of FSC claims is vital to maintaining the credibility of the FSC system
  • Permitted application of percentage and credit systems at multiple site level, under certain conditions (also called “cross-site methods”): FSC will monitor the implementation of these requirements and re-evaluate them after two years.
  • Refined credit system and product group requirements, including clarifying credit accounting for assembled wood products, and an extension of the credit accounting period from 12 to 24 months.
  • Reduce the threshold for FSC-labelled recycled wood products from 85 per cent post-consumer reclaimed material to 70 per cent post-consumer reclaimed material (same threshold as required for FSC Mix products) The balance (max 30%) for FSC Recycled products must still be pre-consumer reclaimed.
  • A merger of advice notes and standard interpretations is incorporated into the standard.

How will the revised standards affect certificate holders?

All FSC certificate holders are advised to familiarise themselves with the revised CoC standard (FSC-STD-40-004 V3-0) and begin making necessary adjustments in preparation for evaluation against it by 31 March 2018.

All FSC chain-of-custody certificate holders will have been evaluated against the new standards by 31 March 2018. If you have any questions, please contact project coordinator, Lucia Massaroth at l.massaroth at fsc point org.


© Forest Stewardship Council® · FSC® F000201