FSC Core Labour Requirements

While the protection of workers’ rights has always been part of FSC’s principles and mandatory for forest management certificate holders, the new FSC Core Labor Requirements have now also been included in the FSC Chain of Custody standard (FSC-STD-40-004-v3-1).


On January 15, 2021, the FSC International Board of Directors approved the addition of the FSC Core Labour Requirements (in accordance with the ILO Core Conventions) to the standards for Chain of Custody Certification (FSC-STD-40-004 and FSC-STD-20-011).

For a comparison of versions and more information on this process, visit the project website.

  • Factory workers

    What are the FSC Core Labour Requirements?

    With the new version of the standard FSC-STD-40-004 V3-1 Chain of Custody Certification, FSC has introduced new requirements for CoC certificate holders. These requirements apply to:

    1. abolition of child labour,
    2. elimination of all forms of forced labour,
    3. elimination of discrimination in employment and occupation, and
    4. respect for the freedom and right of workers to associate and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining.

    For new Core Labour Requirements, see version 3-1 of the Chain of Custody standard (PART I, Chapter 7).

  • September 2021
    Olya Kobruseva / Pexels

    What are the deadlines for the implementation the new Requirements?

    The new Core Labour Requirements are mandatory for all FSC CoC holders from 1 September 2021. However, in order to facilitate the transition to the new version of the standard (V3-1), a transitional period until 31 December 2022 has been set for all new and existing certificate holders, during which they may or may not comply with the new requirements (during the transitional period certificate can also be issued according to V3-0 of the standard). At the end of the transitional period, the Core Labour Requirements are mandatory for all certificate holders.

  • laptop cafe situation

    What changes do the new Requirements bring?

    By applying the FSC Core Labour Requirements to their business, organisations will need to:

    1. adopt and implement Policy statement(s) covering FSC Core Labour Requirements; and
    2. maintain an up-to-date Self-Assessment describing how they apply the FSC Core Labour Requirements to their business (templates available at the bottom of this page).

    The Policy statement(s) is a simple and publicly available document that includes the FSC Core Labour Requirements. Many organisations already have statements or policies in place that cover the principles and practices set out in the FSC Core Labour Requirements, and such statements and policies implemented may be used to demonstrate compliance.

    The Self-Assessment is the second mandatory document that an organisational must complete prior to the scheduled annual audit, in which it describes the application of the FSC Core Labour Requirements to its business. The certification body then uses Self-Assessment to guide the audit and verification (in the field) of compliance with the standard.

FSC core labour requirements technical webinar: self assessment PPT slides
PDF, Size: 3.15MB

Technical webinar

Templates for completing Self-Assessment for certificate holders

We have prepared templates for completing the Self-Assessment for the 4 countries from the Adria-Balkan region. Certificate holders may download and complete this Self-Assessment template, or alternatively may use other. More templates are also available here.

(BiH) Predložak za ispunjavanje Samoprocjene FSC temeljnih zahtjeva za rad - Bosna i Hercegovina
DOCX, Size: 131.64KB
(HR) Predložak za ispunjavanje Samoprocjene FSC temeljnih zahtjeva za rad - Hrvatska
DOCX, Size: 113.12KB
(SRB) Predložak za ispunjavanje Samoprocene FSC temeljnih zahteva za rad - Srbija
DOCX, Size: 105.26KB
(SLO) Predloga za izpolnjevanje FSC samoocene osnovnih zahtev za delo - Slovenija
DOCX, Size: 99.57KB

Additional documents

  • FSC Core Labour Requirements Implementation Guidance

    Goal of this guide is to:
  1. Lead organisations that are certified against FSC Chain of Custody Standard (CoC) when implementing the FSC Core Labour Requirements within their operations.
  2. Inform certification bodies and auditors
  3. Provide support to organisations preparing for FSC Chain of Custody Certification
  • FSC Core Labour Requirements: Q&A
    To facilitate the understanding and use of the new Requirements for certificate holders, auditors and other stakeholders, FSC has prepared a document with a list of questions and answers. This document will be continuously updated.

For any additional questions regarding the implementation of the FSC Core Labour Requirements in the Adria-Balkan region, please contact us.

FSC Core Labour Requirements Implementation Guidance
PDF, Size: 592.23KB
FSC temeljni zahtjevi za rad: pitanja i odgovori
PDF, Size: 473.98KB