Chain of Custody Certification

When it comes to forest-based products, FSC certification is the sustainable choice you can trust to deliver better outcomes for forests, people and markets – today and for future generations.

FSC certification can help to meet legislative requirements, improve market access and help you to implement and evidence your sustainability policies. It allows you to apply FSC labels to your products and make FSC claims in your sales documents (thereby maintaining the chain of custody for FSC-certified products).

Paper mill (c) Iggesund Paperboard
Iggesund Paperboard

Do I need FSC certification?

Forest management certification applies to forest owners and managers. Chain of custody certification applies to manufacturers, processors and traders of FSC-certified forest products.

Chain of custody certification ensures that FSC-certified materials and products have been checked at every stage of processing, so customers purchasing products sold with FSC claims can be confident that they are genuinely FSC certified.

Any company involved in the processing or transformation of FSC-certified products (e.g. manufacturing, repackaging, pack-splitting, relabelling, cutting to size or adding other forest-based components to the product) must be FSC certified in order to apply an FSC label to their products and/or sell them with an FSC claim.

Chain of Custody Certification Standard (FSC-STD-40-004_V3-1)
PDF, Size: 831.69KB

Chain of Custody Certification Standard

This is the core standard for FSC chain of custody (CoC) certification. It specifies the requirements which apply to all CoC-certified and applicant organiations with respect to sourcing, processing, labelling, and sale of forest-based products as FSC certified.

The standard is divided into four parts. Parts I and II cover the universal requirements that are mandatory for all CoC certificate holders. The requirements specified in Parts III and IV apply in accordance with the scope of each certificate.

Woodworking (c) Dominik Scythe via Unsplash

Small Businesses

Group chain of custody certification has been developed to help smaller enterprises achieve FSC certification by reducing its costs and allowing group members to be jointly certified under one certificate. In the UK, groups can only contain businesses that have under 15 employees (or under 25 employees, with a turnover of under $1 million).

Steps to certification


Get quotes

Contact FSC-accredited certification bodies (and/or small business group schemes if
appropriate) to request quotes.


Choose a certification body

Submit a certification application to the FSC-accredited certification body or group scheme of your choice.


Get ready

Ensure that an appropriate CoC Management System is in place, in line with the requirements
of FSC-STD-40-004.


Get audited

Undergo an audit by your chosen certification body or group scheme.


And go!

Upon completion of a successful audit, you will be given an FSC certificate and your certificate details will be added to the FSC certificate database. You will be issued with an FSC certification code (XXX-COC-000000) and a trademark licence code (FSC-C000000).

Requirements for the use of the FSC trademarks by certificate holders (FSC-STD-50-001 V2-1)
PDF, Size: 1.10MB

Trademark Standard for Certificate Holders

This standard is mandatory for all FSC certificate holders who are entitled to use the FSC trademarks and sets out how to use the FSC trademarks correctly. The standard covers use of the FSC trademarks on FSC certified products, use for promotion of FSC certified products, and for promotion of the company's status as an FSC certificate holder. 

Associated standards

COC certification of multiple sites (FSC-STD-40-003 V2-1)
PDF, Size: 413.81KB
FSC Product Classification (FSC-STD-40-004a V2-1)
PDF, Size: 172.47KB
Sourcing reclaimed material for use in FSC Product Groups or FSC Certified Projects (FSC-STD-40-007 V2-0)
PDF, Size: 374.06KB
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