Technical Updates

Wednesday, 03 February 2021
FSC Core Labour Requirements: New Versions of Chain of Custody Standards Available

The revised FSC Chain of Custody standards (FSC-STD-40-004 & FSC-STD-20-011) now include auditable social compliance requirements.

On 15 January 2021, the FSC International Board of Directors approved the addition of FSC Core Labour Requirements based on ILO Core Conventions to the FSC Chain of Custody standards (FSC-STD-40-004 and FSC-STD-20-011).

For the version comparison and more information about this process, please visit FSC International's project page.

FSC-STD-40-004 V3-1 Chain of Custody Certification now includes:

  • abolition of child labour, elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour, elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation, respect of freedom of association, and effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
  • adopting and implementing policy statement(s) that encompass the FSC Core Labour Requirements;
  • demonstrating compliance through certification with other social certifications;
  • an option for other organisations such as certification bodies to submit certification schemes which comply to the FSC Core Labour Requirements, and;
  • incorporating a risk-based approach via self-assessments in which organisations describe how they apply the requirements to their operations.

FSC-STD-20-011 V4-2 Chain of Custody Evaluations now includes:

  • additional interview requirements for certification bodies/auditors to conduct interviews with representatives;
  • a requirement for certification bodies/auditors to verify that the certificate holder has adopted and implemented the policy statement(s), and;
  • a requirement for certification bodies to design and implement a system for auditors to evaluate the organisation’s self-assessment and their conformity to the FSC Core Labour Requirements.

For more information about the revised standards, please contact Vicky Tran, FSC Chain of Custody Policy Manager at 

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