Chain of Custody Certification

8 of 10 global consumers expect companies to ensure that their wood or paper products do not contribute to deforestation or damage wildlife habitats*. 76% of those consumers believe strongly in the importance of independent certification*.  

If you are a supply chain company that produces or trades forest products and want to demonstrate your commitment to operating in an environmentally, economically, and socially responsible way, the FSC certification system, which supports 14 of 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, can help.

*GlobeScan study, 2021


Benefits of Chain of Custody Certification

As the world's most recognized and trusted forest-certification scheme to protect the world's forests - our labels are important to your consumers. 55% of global consumers understand what the FSC label stands for and 75% of shoppers who are aware of FSC will choose an FSC-certified product over its non-certified equivalent.

FSC’s CoC certification allows companies to label their FSC products and make FSC claims in your sales documents (thereby maintaining the chain of custody for FSC-certified products).

It will also support your environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals as our requirements support 14 of 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  This can open doors into new markets as many companies, and increasingly governments, have compliance policies that place preference on FSC certification. In fact, FSC is the preferred certification scheme for business and the one most widely used by members of the Fortune 500.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why become certified?

    • Improved market access
    • Enhanced public image
    • Corporate Social Responsibility compliance
    • Meeting customer expectations
    • Use of the iconic FSC trademarks and supplementary marketing assets
  2. Who is eligible?

    Any company involved in the transformation, processing, manufacturing or distribution of a forest-based product must be FSC-certified in order to sell products with an FSC logo and/or with an FSC Claim. This includes, but is not limited to:

    • sawmills
    • primary & secondary manufacturers
    • timber brokers
    • distributors/wholesalers
    • pulp mills, 
    • paper mills, 
    • paper merchants, 
    • printing companies, 
    • print brokers (that take legal possession). 
  3. How does it work?

    FSC Certification takes place through independent third-party assessments by Certification Bodies.

    Certifiers will audit your business to ensure that: 

    • You are purchasing FSC certified products from a certified supplier
    • Certified products are clearly identifiable
    • Certified products are separated from non-certified
    • Certified products are traceable, and volumes are recorded
    • You have a good management system in place

5 steps to certification


Contact a certification body

Contact one, or several, third party certification bodies who will provide an estimate regarding cost and timeline, The certification body will provide you with information about the requirements for FSC certification.


Application & agreement

When you decide which certification body you would like to work with, fill out an application form and sign an agreement with the certification body.


Complete an on-site audit

Complete an on-site certification audit where your selected certification body will assess your company’s qualifications for certification. 


Certification approval

The data collected during the audit will be captured in an audit report. The certification body will make a certification decision based on the information in the report.

If the certification decision is positive, you will receive an FSC certificate.

If the audit reveals that your operation is not yet in full compliance with FSC requirements, you will receive specific corrective actions. These corrective actions will need to be addressed, at which time a further audit can be conducted.


Annual audit

The certification body will also conduct annual surveillance audits to verify your continued compliance with FSC certification requirements. FSC certificates are valid for five years.


Get Started Today

Standards & Requirements

Chain of Custody Certification Standard (FSC-STD-40-004 V 3-1)
PDF, Size: 831.69KB
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