MSC/ASC Chain of Custody

This document is NOT meant to serve as a complete guide to ensuring MSC / ASC Chain of Custody compliance. For more information please visit MSC CoC Standard. More so, this document is meant to serve a general starting place for knowing where in GDST data to find MSC / ASC Chain of Custody certification information and which events need to supply the certificate information.

How to Specify the Certificate?

The Certificate can be in the Certification List on an EPCIS event either using the ilmd data of a TRANSFORMATION event, or by using the cbvmda:certificationList on the OBJECT event. The Certificate Type for the certificate is urn:gdst:certType:harvestCoC.

"cbvmda:certificationList": {
"certification": [
"gdst:certificationType": "urn:gdst:certType:harvestCoC",
"certificationAgency": "MSC",
"certificationStandard": "MSC Chain of Custody",
"certificationValue": "",
"certificationIdentification": "1234567890"

Which Events?

It is critical that products are identified as MSC / ASC Chain of Custody certified throughout the event history of those products to ensure compliance with the MSC / ASC Chain of Custody standards.

Certified products shall be identified as certified at all stages of purchasing, receiving, storing, processing, packing, labelling, selling and delivering, except for sales invoices to final consumers. - MSC CoC Standard

The Chain of Custody Certificate should be provided on any event where:

  • Any events where the base event type is TRANSFORMATION regardless of the business step. This includes On-Vessel Processing, Commingling, Packing, and Processing events.
  • Change of Ownership events where a product is being sold from one party to another. This is indicated in the event with the sourceList and destinationList having an item in the array with type urn:epcglobal:cbv:sdt:owning_party. The Seller's MSC / ASC Chain of Custody certificate is the certificate that needs to be recorded on the Change of Ownership event, the Buyer's is not recorded.
    • It's possible that in some cases a change of ownership between the Fishery/Farm and the first buyer will not require an MSC / ASC Chain of Custody certificate. This is covered in more detail below.
  • Any OBJECT events with a business step of arrivingreceiving, or storing from the core CBV 1.2.

Events where products are being harvested from a farm or from the wild sometimes do not need the MSC / ASC Chain of Custody certificate. However, they will always need a urn:gdst:certType:harvestCert (Harvest Certificate) that is used to authenticate the harvest and be MSC / ASC Chain of Custody compliant.

There are some cases where the Farm or Fishery will need an MSC / ASC Chain of Custody certificate:

Checking the fishery assessment or farm audit report and, if the report specifies that the fishery or farm is required to have CoC certification, verifying that the fishery or farm also has a valid CoC certificate. - MSC CoC Standard

If this is the case and the Farm or Fishing Vessel is required to provide an MSC / ASC Chain of Custody certificate, then that Chain of Custody certificate will need to be supplied in the initial Change of Ownership between the Farm/Fishing Vessel and the first buyer. This would be the event with the disposition urn:gdst:disposition:entering_commerce. Even if this is required, the Harvest Certificate specified above is still required for the Fishing / Farm Harvest event.

Mixed Products

Adding an MSC / ASC Chain of Custody certificate to an OBJECT event signifies that all Products listed in the event are MSC / ASC Certified. For TRANSFORMATION events, it signifies that all output products are MSC / ASC Chain of Custody certified. If an event occurs to a set of Products containing a mix of certified and uncertified products, then 2 separate events need to be recorded, one event for the group of certified products and one event for the group of non-certified products.

Recording Volumes

Principle 4: Certified products are traceable and volumes are recorded. - MSC CoC Standard

According to the standard, volumes are required to be recorded for certified products. This means that all events containing MSC / ASC Chain of Custody certified products must record weights for the product being recorded. This includes all TRANSFORMATIONOBJECT, and AGGREGATION events.

Where should the Certificate be defined, in Party Master Data or Event Data?

Because there is a potential for mixed products and because the presence of an MSC / ASC Chain of Custody certificate being specified indicates that the products are MSC / ASC Chain of Custody certificated, we are recommending that the certificate is recorded at the event level.

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