Chain of custody (CoC) certification provides a guarantee about the production and source of FSC-certified products. The main objective of CoC certification is to ensure that material from FSC certified forests is tracked through the production and distribution process. CoC certification applies to manufacturers and others who process, transform or trade forest products.
Every link in the supply chain when a product is altered, transformed or when a company takes on legal ownership needs to be FSC Chain of Custody certified in order sell the product as FSC Certified. Businesses that only retail FSC certified products do not need to be certified, but do need FSC Authorisation to promote those FSC products.
From a customer perspective, the FSC label represents a promise that is being made to them. Chain of custody standards are the mechanism FSC has to ensure that 'promise' is delivered. Operations that have been independently verified for FSC chain of custody certification are eligible to label their products with the FSC label.
How much does it cost?
The cost will depend on a number of variable factors, such as organisation type, number of sites, the current state of the organisation's systems etc. Accredited certification bodies will usually provide a quote (after first ascertaining the individual circumstances of the applicant). Applicants will need to pay for their initial certification, and for ongoing audit/monitoring by their certification body. As a very general guide, a straightforward certification might cost a few thousand dollars.
How long does it take?
Again, it is not possible to be definitive due to variable factors. However, initial certification can be achieved within a few weeks.
Who conducts the FSC CoC certification audit?
FSC does not undertake certifications itself. You need to contact one (or more) of the accredited certification bodies listed to begin the FSC certification process.
Click here for a list of FSC accredited certification bodies operating in New Zealand.