MSC Verification FAQ

What is MSC Verification by MarinTrust?

MarinTrust recognises the status of MSC certifications and wants to simplify the process for those certificate holders that receive MSC certified raw materials to the marine ingredient producing plant. These materials will be recognised as MarinTrust compliant. 

This process has now been formalised in the MSC Verification Tool which came into force on 1 January 2021. The aim is to protect the integrity of the chain and prevent false use of the MSC claims entering a MarinTrust certified factory. MarinTrust is enhancing its MSC recognition process by providing an extra layer of verification while avoiding duplicating assessments and all at low costs. 

The MSC Verification process results in the delivery of four different outcomes, depending on the raw material and the MSC claim:

  • Automatic recognition: For MSC certified whole fish and by-products when the Marine Ingredient producer site holds MSC CoC certification (no report, no cost)
  • Verification report: For MSC certified whole fish when the Marine Ingredient producer site does not hold MSC CoC certification (report, cost £750)
  • Assessment report: For MSC certified by-products when the Marine Ingredient producer site does not hold MSC CoC certification (MT report, cost £500)
  • Category C or D report: By-catch that is not certified but comes from MSC certified fisheries (Much reduced MT report, cost £500 per species)

This verification grid shall be applied to all fishmeal plants that claim to be receiving MSC certified materials with the intention of using this for MarinTrust recognition but don’t hold an MSC Chain of Custody certification. This allows for the replacement of the Baseline fee of £8,200 (initial) or £2,000 (surveillance) and category A or B species (£1,500 for initial or £600 for surveillance assessments) with a fee of only £750 for the MSC Verification report.

All prices indicated here are per year. Costs are shared between all users of the raw material within the same country.

What is needed to pass the MSC Verification process?

Application information essential to allow the verification process:

  • Most recent MSC Certification Report website link
  • The target stock(s)
  • The fishing gear
  • The area in which the fish are being caught
  • The fleets, vessels, individual fishing operators pursuing that stock (client group)

Step 1: MarinTrust must receive the assurance that the fish to be used in a plant certified against the MarinTrust standard comes from an MSC Unit of Certification (ie: features specific to fish species, fishing area, gear type and client group).

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Step 2: MarinTrust must be informed what raw material is being compared to which specific MSC Certification Report. This information is supplied by the applicant to the Certification Body in the MSC verification application.

How it works

For whole fish

Step 1: First the fishery assessor completes a report to check that the information in the MSC verification application and the relevant MSC assessment match.

Infographic 2

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Step 2: Then the site auditor conducting the audit in the fishmeal plant will check against the MarinTrust Standard.

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Should the MSC certified fish lose its MSC certification, then that fish raw material will lose its MSC recognition and shall undergo a full MarinTrust assessment for it to be considered as compliant material.

For by-products

By-products are important materials, resulting from further processing of whole fish. Their share in the production of fishmeal keeps increasing and is now at 31% of all fish oil and fishmeal produced globally. 

Marine Stewardship Council Chain of Custody (MSC CoC) held:

Marine Ingredient producers using by-products claiming to come from MSC certified sources. These facilities should be covered by an MSC Chain of Custody certificate, and the verification of the raw material will occur only at the fishmeal plant at no extra cost. 

Marine Stewardship Council Chain of Custody (MSC CoC) not held:

Marine Ingredient producers using by-products claiming to come from MSC certified sources. These facilities, if not covered by an MSC Chain of Custody certification then the by-product raw material cannot be recognised and shall undergo a MarinTrust’s by-product assessment to be accepted as compliant MarinTrust raw material. 

If you receive MSC Certified Material, there is a process flow below to tell you what to do. 

Process flow