Procedures of Certification

Acquiring MSC's Fishery Certification and ASC Aquaculture Certification

MSC Fishery Certification and ASC Aquaculture Certification process are divided into pre-assessment and main assessment. During the pre-assessment, the fisher seeking certification undergoes an assessment and report by a certifying organization on the feasibility of going to the main assessment and any requirements involved. Based on the results, a determination is made on whether the fisher will undergo the main assessment. Subsequently, the fisher goes through a strict main assessment, which looks at numerous items for MSC and ASC requirements and also considers public comment, and finally certification is granted if the fisher passes.

Acquiring MSC COC and ASC COC Certification

To acquire COC certification, the candidate must establish and carry out a control system based on the COC assessment standards. As a rough guide, it takes about three to four weeks from assessment to certification. After certification is acquired, surveillance audits must be conducted about once a year to maintain certification. Auditors check whether the party is meeting the requirements of certification and responding sufficiently to certification conditions. If periodic surveillance audits determine that the party has remained continuously in conformity, certification will remain valid for three years. If the party wishes its certification to continue after three years, it must undergo reassessment.

MSC COC and ASC COC Certification assessments focus on the following points.

1. Are certified and non-certified products kept separate from each other, and are they identifiable?
2. Are there records of receiving, processing and shipping out?
3. Do the records trace products back all the way to their raw materials lots?

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*Fees for COC certification will vary according to the form of the business entity being certified, the type of certification (individual or group) and other factors. Prior to the on-site assessment for certification, candidates can optionally undergo an advance manual assessment for a fee. After certification, moreover, the certified body will need to undergo periodic surveillance audits (about once a year) to maintain that certification, and a reassessment to renew it.

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