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).

Chain of Custody

Chain of Custody Certification

FSC chain of custody certification verifies that FSC-certified material has been identified and separated from ineligible and unacceptable material as it makes its way along the supply chain from the forest to the market.

FSC chain of custody certification covers a variety of situations and entities, ensuring that many organisations can demonstrate their commitment to FSC’s requirements. This means that not only single organisations can be certified, but so can groups of independent organisations and organisations with multiple sites. There is even an option for certification of individual projects rather than organisations.

The material used in the FSC chain of custody can come from a variety of sources. While the overwhelming majority comes from FSC-certified forests, the FSC chain of custody requirements also allow the introduction of reclaimed material that would otherwise go to waste, and material that has been assessed as a low risk of coming from unacceptable sources.

The following relevant documents are available to download in the FSC Document Centre:

FSC-STD-40-004 Chain of Custody Certification

FSC-STD-40-004a FSC Product Classification

FSC-STD-40-003 Chain of Custody Certification of Multiple Sites

FSC-STD-40-006 FSC Standard for Project Certification

FSC-STD-40-007 Sourcing reclaimed material for use in FSC Product Groups or FSC Certified Projects

FSC-STD-40-005 Requirements for Sourcing FSC Controlled Wood

FSC Chain of Custody Explainer Video

Core Labour Requirements

FSC chain of custody certificate holders are required to implement the FSC core labour requirements in their operations and must be able to demonstrate this to external third-party auditors.

To comply with the FSC core labour requirements, the organisation must:

  • Not use child labour.
  • Eliminate all forms of forced and compulsory labour.
  • Ensure that there is no discrimination in employment and occupation.
  • Respect freedom of association and the effective right to collective bargaining.


Core Labour Requirements Self-Assessment Templates

Part of conforming with the FSC core labour requirements is that organisations are required to assess how they already meet the requirements with a self-assessment. To help organisations with implementing the FSC core labour requirements, FSC has developed some country-specific self-assessment templates that provide more details than the generic self-assessment form found in the chain of custody standard.

Download the Australian and New Zealand templates below:


DOCX, Size: 107.60KB
New Zealand
DOCX, Size: 103.45KB
Wood 2

Small Business

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. 

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).


FSC Chain of Custody Certification Standard FSC-STD-40-004 V3-1 EN
PDF, Size: 831.69KB
FSC core labour requirements self-assessment - Australia
DOCX, Size: 107.60KB
FSC CoC procedure template
DOCX, Size: 953.28KB
FSC core labour requirements self-assessment - Australia
DOCX, Size: 107.60KB
FSC Core Labour Requirements Implementation Guidance
PDF, Size: 592.23KB
Requirements for use of the FSC trademarks by certificate holders SC-STD-50-001 V2-1 EN
PDF, Size: 1.07MB
FSC Core Labour Requirements Q&A.pdf
PDF, Size: 806.96KB