FSC Chain of Custody certification ensures that products that are sold with an FSC claim originate from well-managed forests, controlled sources, or reclaimed materials.

Being FSC-chain of custody certified means materials used in a product are tracked - from forest to shelf, through an unbroken chain – to maintain its system credibility. The labelling of products as FSC-certified is allowed only when all companies along the entire chain are FSC-certified. At each stage in the chain of processing and transformation, FSC CoC certification is needed to confirm that FSC certified materials used are kept separate from uncertified materials, or mixed in approved ways, where the flow of certified materials must be controlled – from procurement, to storage and production and to the final sale of the products that carry the FSC labels.

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.

Only organisations in possession of a valid FSC chain of custody certificate are permitted to manufacture, package, or label products with the FSC on-product label and sell FSC certified products with FSC claims on sales documents.

Forest to shelf



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-STD-50-001 Requirements for use of the FSC trademarks by certificate holders

FSC has three FSC labels

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 FSC Malaysia Core Labour Requirement template here.


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:

  • Illegally harvested wood;
  • Wood harvested in violation of traditional and human rights;
  • Wood from forests in which high conservation values are threatened by management activities;
  • Wood from forests being converted to plantations or non-forest use; and
  • 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 assessments of the risk of sourcing material from unacceptable sources for 60 countries. They can be found in the FSC Document Centre, and summaries can be found on the FSC risk assessment platform.

FSC-CNRA-MY V(1-0)  FSC Centralized National Risk Assessment for Malaysia Controlled Wood Risk Assessment (CW)

Organisations 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

Small Business


Description automatically generatedGroup 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.



FSC 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