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Wednesday, 04 January 2017
FSC Publishes Revised Chain of Custody Standards


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:

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.

Crosswalk document

The FSC Chain of Custody Crosswalk document, that compares V3-0 with V2-1 is available for download here.

Content changes

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.
  • 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 product must still be pre-consumer reclaimed.
  • A merger of advice notes and standard interpretations is incorporated into the standard.

Webinars about the revised standards have also been arranged by FSC International. These will provide an opportunity to learn more about the main changes in the standard, along with a question & answer session:

14 Feb, 08:00 GMT: Register here
21 Feb, 15:00 GMT: Register here
09 Mar, 15:00 GMT: Register here

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 (

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