Steps for certification

FSC certification of the supply chain (COC)

Background of FSC certification

Wood and paper products are in vogue. The demand for sustainably produced products is ever-increasing and wood and paper products are everywhere. With a FSC Chain of Custody (COC) certification, you contribute to the use of responsibly produced raw materials. You thus fulfil the wishes of many customers in addition to your own standards. GFA Certification is accredited for FSC  certification of the supply chain (since 2000) and offers audits according to the applicable standards. The goal is the traceability of certified products across the entire supply chain right back to the  forest of origin. Each individual company within the supply chain must prove their own inputs and outputs of certified goods. This form of FSC certification is aimed at all companies that endeavour to produce, process or trade FSC certified products or wish to be part of the supply chain. Often, a combination with a PEFC certification is desired. GFA offers combined Audits according to the FSC and PEFC COC standards.

Who is FSC?

The Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization founded in 1993 as a result of the Environment and Development Conference in Rio de Janeiro. The objective of the FSC seal is the conservation of forests through management forms according to the needs of present and future generations. The management of the forests must thus meet high ecological, social and economic demands. These are continuously defined and improved by the currently approx. 800 members of the FSC who vote on new developments in the form of a three-chamber system (Environment Chamber, Social Chamber and Economic Chamber). The FSC has developed standards for forest management and, through the Chain of Custody (CoC) standards, provides a means of tracing and marketing the certified materials and products. The FSC is now represented in more than 80 countries with national working groups.

The way to FSC certification

Companies interested in FSC certification create internal procedures and processes to ensure the traceability of certified FSC materials through own production, processing or trading processes. The effectiveness of the system and the corresponding application by the certified company is verified and confirmed by GFA Certification through a certification audit and then by annual monitoring audits . After successful certification, your Company is entitled to label products with the FSC label and sell these as certified products.

Important steps to FSC COC certification


    – Company informs itself about the requirements for FSC COC

    – Company fills out the GFA RSPO SCC Questionnaire under Request Offer (see below).

    – If necessary, GFA obtains further information

    – GFA evaluates the information


    – Elaboration of a non-binding offer by GFA

    – If necessary clarification of open questions

    – Placing of the order by the company


    Implementation of the COC requirements by the company, for example

    – Establishment of necessary processes

    – Establishment of responsible staff

    – Creation of a manual

    – Staff training

    – Creation of sample documents


    Assessment of the FSC system by a GFA auditor

    – Verification of documented procedures

    – Inspection of the on-site operations

    – Meeting with company management

    – Staff meetings with responsible staff

    – Creation of the audit report by the auditor

    – Correction of identified deviations made by the company

    – Certification decision by the GFA


    – Issuing and sending of the certificate

    – Registration of the certificate


    – Annual assessment by an auditor

    – Company provides evidence

    – Certification decision by the GFA


    – Takes place a few weeks prior to expiry of the certificate period (5 years)

    – New certification contract is concluded

    – New audit by GFA


For more information download our PDF documents listed in the side bar or contact us via the contact form or directly via

Niklas Schroettke (+49 40 5247431 151 or mobile +49 151 150566 29) or

Jannek Fahrenkrug ( +49 40 5247431 152 or mobile +49 151 150566 26) or

Sarah Strohbusch (+49 40 5247431 153 or mobile +49 151 150566 27).

Costs of FSC certification

Certification of companies according to the requirements of FSC is not a set system with fixed prices. The costs involved depend on the duration of audit which in turn is dependent on the intended scope of the certificate as well as the complexity of business processes.

Request a free and non-binding offer which is tailored to your needs under the “Request Proposal” section. Usually the time for companies to prepare for certification and be ready for the first audit by GFA takes 4 – 8 weeks.