Launch of the electronic Trademark License Agreement for group and multi-site certificate holders

FSC / Iván Castro
FSC / Iván Castro
November 30, 2023
Category : General news

FSC group and multi-site certificate holders applying for new or renewed certification must sign the electronic version of the Trademark License Agreement (e-TLA) (version 6) from 27 November 2023.

The e-TLA can be signed electronically within the FSC Certification Portal. Organizations and individuals who are new to the FSC system or those who are re-joining the system are required to complete the FSC Check process before they can sign the e-TLA.

FSC rolled out the e-TLA globally for single certificate holders in January 2022. Now, with the global launch for group and multi-site certificate holders, the entire TLA signing process has undergone a digital transformation - excluding project certificate holders. Certification to single, group, and multi-site applicants will only be granted on signature of the e-TLA, while project certificate holders will continue with the traditional paper version.

In order for an existing FSC group or multi-site certificate holder to sign the e-TLA, the organization’s primary contact will be invited by their certification body to activate their FSC Connect account. Next, they will be invited to sign in to the FSC Certification Portal, automatically. Once the applicant signs in to the FSC Certification Portal and provides FSC with the required information, the new TLA will be available to sign electronically via DocuSign®.

Organizations who are newly joining FSC or re-joining FSC without a valid FSC trademark license will be directed to complete the FSC Check process after activating their FSC Connect account. Upon clearing the FSC Check process, they will be directed to the FSC Certification Portal for signing the e-TLA using DocuSign.

For more information or further guidance please see our TLA Step-by-Step User Guide. For more information on the FSC Check process, please see our FSC Check Step-by-Step User Guide.

To facilitate the transition to the e-TLA, FSC has issued a derogation (FSC-DER-2023-005), allowing certification bodies to grant group and multi-site certification between 27 November 2023 and 31 January 2024. This applies to organizations and individuals who hold either the most recent paper TLA (version 5) or the latest version of the e-TLA (version 6). For (re)certifications granted under this derogation paper TLAs remain valid until 31 March 2024, with a requirement for any group or multi-site certificate holder to transition to the most recent version of the e-TLA by 1 April 2024.

The TLA is a legal document that governs the relationship between FSC and the certificate holder, and grants the right to use the FSC trademarks, for both on-product labelling and promotional use. The specific rules governing the use of the FSC trademarks by certificate holders are set out in FSC-STD-50-001.

FSC regularly revises the TLA to comply with the latest legal requirements and to ensure that the integrity and credibility of the FSC certification system is upheld and protected.

For more information, please consult our Frequently Asked Questions.