Annual Administration Fee Update for Chain of Custody Certification

The annual administration fee (AAF) is a fee charged by FSC to accredited certification bodies. The AAF for chain of custody certification is calculated according to the AAF policy using the value of certificate holders’ forest products turnover in the certification body’s portfolio.  

The majority of FSC’s income comes from the AAF and is used to fund FSC’s activities. As such, the AAF is a vital contributor to achieving FSC’s mission of Forests for All Forever.

100% wood Spanish Label

A revised AAF from 1 July 2022

FSC has revised the AAF structure for chain of custody certification to make it more equitable and provide FSC with additional funding to invest in increasing the value delivered by FSC; thereby creating more value for certificate holders.

AAF Investment

Additional Investment Brings Market Value


Additional investment is needed to drive implementation of FSC's 2026 strategy

Additional investment will drive implementation of FSC's ambitious 2021-2026 Global Strategy. It is estimated that the new AAF policy will enable FSC to invest more than US$10 million over the next three to five years. The additional investment will help to accelerate value chain development, implement critical upgrades in technology, strengthen system integrity, and enhance stakeholder engagement.

AAF value brand


The value of FSC's brand presence is growing and generating increasing demand from consumers, brands, and retailers

The value of FSC's market presence is growing and generating more and more opportunities to engage positively with consumers, brands, and retailers for the benefit of the world's forests. Strengthening FSC will enable the organization to respond to market needs and leverage these opportunities. Increasing awareness of and demand for FSC-certified products will create market opportunities for chain of custody certificate holders, and thus incentivize the adoption of sustainable forest management across an increasing area of the world's forests.

AAF Equitable

A More Equitable AAF


The new fee structure is more equitable.

Previously, the AAF for chain of custody certification was calculated according to a series of wide bands of forest products turnover, with a fixed fee charged depending on the turnover category that a certificate holder falls into. This has changed from July 2022, to make the AAF more equitable.

The previous AAF calculation could lead to inequalities because companies at the lower end of a turnover band paid the same fee as those at the top of the band. For example, a company with forest products turnover of US$101 million paid the same fee as a company with a forest products turnover of US$499 million, using the turnover band method. To address this, a new structure has been introduced that calculates AAF based on the actual forest products turnover, rather than using broad ranges. In addition, the single site discount has been removed.

Estimate Your revised AAF

The new AAF is calculated based on a certificate holder's actual forest products turnover using a sliding scale. This results in a more equitable AAF structure.

For certificate holders to estimate their new fee from 1 July 2022, please consult the AAF Policy. For a precise figure, please contact your certification body.

Frequently asked questions around the AAF policy can be found in the AAF Interpretations Document

The New AAF Applies From 1 July 2022

AAF July 2022


Investing in Value Chains Brings New Benefits

In the past years, FSC has successfully grown the FSC brand and promoted the uptake of FSC certification in key value chains. Most notably, FSC has:

  • Increased the adoption of FSC certification in key value chains such as textiles, packaging, natural rubber, and furniture, providing market growth opportunities for many chain of custody certificate holders. For example, FSC collaborated with Pirelli and BMW to launch the first FSC-certified car tyre, which is a significant step forward in the sustainable development of the natural rubber sector.
  • Increased engagement with ecommerce. For example, FSC collaborated with Amazon to highlight FSC-certified products as part of the Amazon Climate Pledge Friendly platform to encourage consumers to choose more sustainable products.
  • Reached millions of consumers with stories of FSC impact, most recently on EuroNews and in National Geographic.
  • Continued development and expansion of FSC climate and ecosystem services solutions.
  • Invested in technology to make the FSC system more transparent and allow auditors to prepare for audits virtually, thus making the audit process faster, more effective, and data driven.
  • Developed and piloted new certification protocols for smallholders, ensuring forests are protected, while opening market opportunities for many small forest owners.

Potential extra funding from the revised AAF will enable FSC to build on this progress and continue to grow the value of the FSC brand and uptake of FSC certification. In turn, this will create larger markets for FSC-certified products. In addition, further investment will accelerate development of climate and ecosystem services solutions and strengthen the integrity of FSC's system through investment in blockchain technology, helping us to address problematic supply chains.

Read more about our plans in our 2021-2026 Global Strategy.