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Stakeholders can be involved in Friend of the Sea in three ways

1) They can request to be part of the Technical Committee - the independent body proposing and voting changes to the standards.

2) They can provide their input to the audits by filing comments and/or objections.

3) They can file complaints regarding Friend of the Sea's Governance.


1) Technical Committee

The Technical Committee (TC) is a technical body operating in total independence from Friend of the Sea. 

Friend of the Sea employees and collaborators can participate to the TC.

Stakeholders interested in becoming members of the TC can apply via the Friend of the Sea website by email to

Members of the TC can, at any time, propose changes to the current requirements part of the FOS checklists. Proposals have to be sent by email from the member of the TC and must include:
- the number of the requirement for which change is proposed
- the new wording of the requirement
- the reason for the proposed change
- scientific and technical evidence in support to the proposed change.

Friend of the Sea can propose new Checklists versions to the TC for comments and vote

The proposed change is filed by means of an email from FOS’s Technical and Scientific Officer to all the members of the TC.

60 days from submission are allowed for comments. 30 days for final voting and additional comments are allowed immediately after the first round. Changes are approved if they meet the majority of the votes and if in line with the FAO Guidelines. The Advisory Board can express its opinion. The Board of Directors confirms the acceptance of the changes.

All comments received during the public comment period are made publicly available without attribution or identifier. A summary of how comments were addressed is made publicly available as well and sent to everyone who submitted comments.

All Stakeholder, even if not members of the TC, can submit comments on the standard at any time. All comments and standards are considered in subsequent revision process. Comments must be sent to by filling in this Form.

Stakeholders can request all records related Standard Setting or file procedural complaints by email to . Unsolved procedural complaints are assessed during the yearly revue.


Work Program Standard Setting Updated 17/02/2017

Revision proposal procedure


Form for revision proposal submission


P7/2016 Standards Development and Maintenance





2) Audit Comments and / or Objections

Individuals, companies and organizations can email comments and/or objections to regarding fisheries or farming sites to be audited or already certified as Friend of the Sea..

Only comments and objections sent at least 15 days before the planned audit date, published on the News / Planned and Ongoing Audits area on will be accepted for consideration by the Certification Body in charge of the audit.

Comments or inputs which are not supported by scientific evidence cannot be taken into consideration. Stakeholders have to indicate which requirements they believe are not complied with.

Comments and objections will be forwarded by Friend of the Sea to the Certification Body in charge of the audit and to the company requesting the audit.  

Certification Body answers will be published in the final Audit Report and could lead to failure to certify.

Anyone wishing to be updated on forthcoming audits should request by email to


Objection procedure

Objection form


3) Governance Complaints

Stakeholders can file complaints regarding the Friend of the Sea's Governance.  Complaint Form (CF) is available online with clear instruction on submittal procedure.

The CF has to be downloaded and filled in in all its parts, providing information about:
- Name, Surname, Role, Company (if applicable) of complaining party
- Name, Surname, Role of the executive, manager, Advisory Board Member ragarding whom the complaint is raised.
- Motivation in support to the complaint
- Evidence

The CF is considered by the Advisory Board, which will have to express its opinion within 15 days, to the Board of Directors, which will undertake a final decision based on majority vote.

IF contrary to the BoD’s decision, the BoD will rediscuss and vote a second time.

Complaints Procedure

Complaint Form

Previous or Pending Complaints

Participation Procedure

Participation Form

Previous or Pending Inputs


Certified Products

Friend of the Sea - Buenos Aires 45, 20124 Milan Italy - HQ +39 0287075166 - Italy +39 3485650306 - Skype: friend.of.the.sea - Elastico Comunicazione