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Seafood Chain of Custody
MSC, ASC, and RFM
Jason Swecker, Program Manager, Seafood Chain of Custodyphone icon510.452.8043 Email

As the market for sustainable seafood grows, consumers are increasingly demanding to know their fish are sourced from responsible fisheries or farms. This has contributed to retailers making commitments to source and sell certified product. With the rise in the demand for traceability, Chain of Custody (CoC) certification provides assurance to your supply chain partners and to consumers that fish can be traced back to its responsible and sustainable source.

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Benefits

By becoming CoC certified, your business will be able to:

  • Gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace by meeting retailer or customer demand for certified products
  • Access to higher margin markets
  • Manage risk by assuring your customers that your seafood comes from legal and environmentally responsible sources
  • Promote your products with consumer-facing sustainability labeling
  • Demonstrate Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Help protect the marine environment and secure fish stocks for the future
Program Details

Eligibility

  • Any organization that takes legal ownership with the intent to sell with a certified claim, either business to business or direct to consumer.
  • Any organization that takes possession of customer-supplied material to act as a contract processor or repacker.

Key Principles and Requirements

To be CoC-certified your organization must have procedures and record keeping in place where you can demonstrate to an auditor that you’ve:

  • Received certified seafood product directly from a certified fishery, farm, or CoC certified supplier.
  • Kept certified seafood product separate from non-certified seafood while in your ownership (through storage, processing, packaging and sale/shipping). Basically, ensure that you’ve identified all risks of comingling certified with non-certified product, put controls in place to address those risks, and have records that demonstrate those controls are effective.
  • Have records that allow a link from sales of certified product back to your supplier receiving document.
Process
  1. Submit application

    Submit an application. SCS prepares a proposal that includes the scope and cost of the audit. Sign and return the proposal to begin the project.

  2. Pre-Audit

    Become familiar with the requirements then review your operations, developing additional procedures, training and record keeping as needed to ensure you can demonstrate to an auditor that you have:

    • Received certified seafood product directly from a certified fishery, farm, or CoC certified supplier.
    • Identified all risks of comingling certified with non-certified product, put controls in place to address those risks, and have records that demonstrate those controls are effective.
    • Have records that allow a link from sales of certified product back to your receiving document (i.e. invoice) from supplier.
  3. On-site Audit

    An SCS auditor visits your facilities to review your organization's control systems and records from a sample of transactions to verify traceability. The auditor then prepares an audit report.

  4. Corrective Actions

    Based on findings in the audit report, SCS issues corrective action requests as applicable. Your organization must respond to any non-conformities raised.

  5. Certification Decision

    SCS reviews the audit report as well as evidence of implementation of corrective actions before rendering a final certification decision. Successful applicants are issued a CoC certificate and can sell certified product and promote their certification.

  6. Surveillance Audits

    CoC certification is granted for three years and requires surveillance audits at 12 or 18 month intervals relative to the risk of your operations.

FAQs
Do I need to be Chain of Custody certified?

All companies in the supply chain from boat to plate that wish to sell ASC or MSC certified products must have a Chain of Custody (CoC) certification. If you wish to sell products that bear the MSC or ASC certification marks, you must have a CoC certification to ensure traceability.

How can I use the SCS Kingfisher certification mark?

Organizations that earn MSC or ASC certification from SCS may use the Kingfisher MSC or ASC labels on their products or promotional items. The Kingfisher is SCS’ on-product mark that communicates the certification achieved as well as a high quality assessment process. The Kingfisher is gaining recognition and appeal in the marketplace.  Certification mark use guidelines and images are provided upon achieving certification. 

How much does it cost to earn MSC or ASC Chain of Custody certification?

Prices for SCS auditing services vary depending on the location, size and complexity of your operation. Companies applying for multiple SCS services enjoy price discounts due to efficiencies (e.g., MSC Chain of Custody and Seafood HACCP). Please ask your sales associate about the types of certifications that might benefit your company.

How long does it take to become MSC or ASC Chain of Custody certified?

Customer service and responsiveness is our priority. We typically are able to send our auditors to your facility, provide you with an audit report, and make a certification decision within 6 to 8 weeks of starting the project. Larger and more complex projects may take longer.

How long is my Chain of Custody certificate valid?

Certification is granted for a three year period, with annual surveillance audits to confirm continued compliance with the MSC and ASC Chain of Custody standard requirements.

Request Information

For immediate service:

Jason Swecker, Program Manager, Seafood Chain of Custody phone icon 510.452.8043 Email Jason