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ISO Proposal for creation of new ISO/TC „Chain of custody”

The proposal for the creation of a new technical committee “Chain of custody” is made by the National Standards Body in the Netherlands (NEN) and the secretariat is planned to be hosted by NEN.

Standardization in the field of chain of custody (CoC) for products and associated processes with specified characteristics, with the aim of ensuring that associated claims are reliable.

Purpose and justification of the proposal

Trade facilitation and the harmonization of global supply chains has emerged as a central dynamic in current international supply chains, characterized by multiple inputs and multiple movements of intermediate goods across international borders. Extensive efforts to standardize border procedures, such as customs, sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS), have been greatly facilitated by the coming-into-force WTO Agreement of Trade Facilitation. Further efforts on the harmonization of financial systems to ensure transparent and secure movement of funds along the supply chain are also being spearheaded by ISO TC 68, financial services, and international actors, such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Absent in these efforts is a standardized language and a detailed horizontal approach to clearly describe how the specified characteristics claimed for a material or product (or for the market as a whole) can be assured and product integrity monitored after delivery.

Proposed initial programme of work
Chain of custody is the process by which inputs and outputs and associated information are transferred, monitored and controlled as they move through each step in the relevant supply chain. Chain of custody processes operate in parallel with regulatory process at borders and international financial transactions, all of which need to operate in close concert to ensure that supply chain actors meet regulatory, transparency and quality requirement.

The chain of custody standards proposed in the initial work programme of ISO/TC 308 will cover generic organizational requirements and chain of custody models, and they might or might not be used as a reference or a benchmark for related standards. However, truly to safeguard the horizontal character of the standards developed by ISO/TC 308, a strong structure based on close liaisons with existing committees will be necessary. It is envisaged that ISO/TC 308 will maintain the liaisons that ISO/PC 308 has established with оther ISO Technical Committees:

Protentional stakeholders

The benefits are for all stakeholders because they all save time and costs by using the general terminology and chain of custody models:

Producers in all supply-chains, incl. multinationals and small and medium-sized companies;
˗ Manufacturers;
˗ Retailers;
˗ Any organization in the full value chain incl. end users, consumers and production industry in general;
˗ Traders;
˗ (Border) regulatory agencies (e.g. Customs);
˗ Local and national governments;
˗ NGOs;
˗ Certification bodies and accreditation bodies;
˗ Round table initiatives dealing with requirements for raw materials;
˗ Investment companies and other.

In case of national interest, Bulgaria can support the creation of this ISO/TC„Chain of custody”. If the establishment of ISO/TC is accepted by the national standards bodies – members of ISO, BDS can obtain P- or O-membership in the work of the newly established committee.

The national stakeholders can provide their position on the proposal for this new field of ISO technical activity by 15.04.2021 to Desislava Gulenova, e-mail: desislava.gulenova@bds-bg.org, tel: +359 2 81 74 581.