Chain of Custody Certification

FSC chain of custody certification provides a credible assurance that products which are sold with an FSC claim originate from well-managed forests, controlled sources, or reclaimed materials.

Workers for CoC Certification / agnormark

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 organizations can demonstrate their commitment to FSC’s requirements. This means that not only single organizations can be certified, but so can groups of independent organizations and organizations with multiple sites. There is even an option for certification of individual projects rather than organizations.

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 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 organization 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.

To access more resources on the FSC core labour requirements, please see the downloads and webinars at the bottom of the page.


Core Labour Requirements Self-Assessment Templates

Part of conforming with the FSC core labour requirements is that organizations are required to assess how they already meet the requirements with a self-assessment. To help organizations 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.

This list of templates below will be updated as new versions of the self-assessments are created and new countries are added, so check back regularly. Click on a country to download its template or to be taken to the corresponding website.


Argentina Australia Austria Bangladesh Belgium
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bulgaria Canada Chile Croatia
Czech Republic Denmark Finland France Germany
Hong Kong S.A.R. India Indonesia Italy Japan
Korea Malaysia The Netherlands New Zealand Pakistan
Poland Portugal Serbia Singapore Slovenia
South Africa Spain Sri Lanka Sweden Switzerland
Taiwan, Province of China Thailand UK USA Vietnam


Core Labour Requirements Equivalence Assessment

With the publication of the FSC core labour requirements, FSC committed to assess the compatibility of other initiatives (such as voluntary sustainability standards (VSS), national and regional regulatory mechanisms, corporate practices, internal procurement policies and sustainability schemes) with the FSC core labour requirements to identify synergies.

The intended outcome of the assessment was to provide FSC approved verification schemes that can be used to demonstrate conformance with the FSC core labour requirements in the FSC Chain of Custody Certification requirements. This mechanism was intended to make the assessment of conformance with the FSC core labour requirements easier for those organizations that also conform with an FSC approved verification scheme.

To ensure that the evaluation of the initiatives is consistent, FSC used the procedure developed to evaluate initiatives.

See the procedure to learn about the evaluation methodology, process timelines, and the process for recommending initiatives for evaluation.

The result of this first phase of core labour requirement equivalence assessment was the approval of one initiative as an FSC approved verification scheme.

SA8000:2014 is considered an FSC approved verification scheme.

For more information, please see FSC-ADV-40-004-24 available in FSC-DIR-40-004.

Project Certification

FSC project certification provides third-party verification for projects made of or containing forest-based materials from responsible sources. There are a range of options for certifying organizations of all sizes that manage projects, from small to large. It also covers a variety of project types from a single wooden boat, to office buildings, to event infrastructure (concert stages, seating).

The following relevant document is available to download in the FSC Document Centre:

FSC-STD-40-006 FSC Chain of Custody Standard for Project Certification



Controlled Wood

Controlled wood is uncertified material that can be mixed with FSC-certified material in products that carry the FSC MIX label. Controlled wood is not from FSC-certified forests but rather from areas covered by FSC’s system for avoiding the use of wood from five unacceptable sources:

  1. Illegally harvested wood; 
  2. Wood harvested in violation of traditional and human rights; 
  3. Wood from forests in which high conservation values are threatened by management activities; 
  4. Wood from forests being converted to plantations or non-forest use; and 
  5. Wood from forests in which genetically modified trees are planted. 


FSC risk assessments

To reduce the likelihood of sourcing material from unacceptable sources, organizations that use controlled wood must also use risk assessments.

FSC has developed risk assessments for 60 countries. They can be found in the FSC Document Centre, and summaries can be found on the FSC risk assessment platform.

Organizations sourcing from areas without an FSC risk assessment must develop their own risk assessments.

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

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

Document Centre

From policies, to national standards, to controlled wood risk assessments, the most up-to-date versions of documents from our normative framework can be found here in the FSC document centre. 


Strategy for FSC Mix products and controlled wood 29-04-2019
PDF, Size: 462.11KB
False Claims Advice Note Q&A
PDF, Size: 623.61KB
Controlled Wood Implementation Packet
ZIP, Size: 1.39MB
FSC Core Labour Requirements Technical Webinar: Self Assessment PPT Slides
PDF, Size: 3.15MB
FSC Core Labour Requirements Implementation Guidance
PDF, Size: 592.23KB
Questions & Answers on the FSC Core Labour Requirements
PDF, Size: 806.96KB


FSC Core Labour Requirements Introduction

FSC Core Labour Requirements Technical Webinar

FSC core labour requirements technical webinar: Self assessment


Responsible for the content: FSC International Center gGmbH

Legally represented by: Managing Directors, Dr. Hans-Joachim Droste and Mr. Stefan Salvador

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