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ANSI Seeks Comments on New ISO Field of Activity on Chain of Custody- Transparency and Traceability-Generic requirements for Supply Chain Actors

Feedback due by May 20


The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has circulated a proposal for a new field of activity on chain of custody-transparency and traceability-generic requirements for supply chain actors. As the U.S. member body to ISO, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) invites all relevant and interested stakeholders to submit comments on the proposal by the end of the business day on May 20, 2016.

As the proposal document details, the proliferation of traceability systems and definitions causes unnecessary confusion, complexity, and costs for players in different supply chains. The result is a barrier to market access, which especially impedes smaller and/or developing companies. Submitted by NEN (The Netherlands), the proposed chain of custody (CoC) standard activity will be based on currently available best practices, and will define supply chain models and respective traceability levels. It would also allow organizations to better address the increasing market demand for transparency and simplify market access by using a uniform language and criteria throughout the supply chain. Services are not included.

Additionally, the standard would define commonly used supply chain models, their traceability levels, and their specific requirements regarding administration, physical handling activities, conversion rates, transactions, and stock activities relating to the product. Applicable to the entire supply chain, such concepts and principles of CoC management impact the stakeholders including (but not limited to):

  • Producers in all supply chains, including multinationals and small and medium-sized companies;

  • Farmers, originators;

  • Consumers and production industry in general;

  • Traders;

  • Local and national governments;

  • NGOs;

  • Certification bodies;

  • Roundtable initiatives dealing with requirements for raw materials;

  • Investment companies;

  • Service providers (e.g., chain of custody systems);

  • Universities dealing with supply chain management.

NEN has also announced that it welcomes a twinning partner from a developing country member to exchange knowledge and improve participation in standardization in the field of facilitating international trade. Criteria for the prospective twinning country are listed in the document proposal, which includes related standards.

Please submit comments to Steve Cornish, ANSI senior director of international policy (, by close of business on Friday, May 20, 2016. Based on the input received, the ANSI ISO Council (AIC) will then be asked to approve an ANSI position and comments to be submitted to ISO before its June 24, 2016, deadline for voting on this proposal. ANSI has published an explanatory information document outlining the process used to develop U.S. positions on issues and activities under consideration by ISO and IEC.

ANSI Focus on Services Standards