Process · Frequently asked questions

Only five steps towards ISCC certification

Frequently Asked Questions

 

For more information and general guidance regarding ISCC PLUS, please have a look at the ISCC PLUS Certification Guideline.

General

 

What does ISCC stand for?

ISCC stands for International Sustainability and Carbon Certification. Certification under the ISCC standard assures a fully transparent and deforestation-free supply chain and the protection of land with high biodiversity value and high carbon stock. The ISCC standard promotes human, labour and land rights, as well as good management practices. Furthermore, ISCC provides the methodology, rules and guidelines for calculating and verifying greenhouse gas emissions and emission reductions. ISCC is a globally applicable sustainability certification system and covers all sustainable feedstocks, including agricultural and forestry biomass, bio-based and circular materials and renewables. Depending on the market in which you wish to supply your sustainable material, you may select the respective certification system 

What are the benefits of a membership in the ISCC Association and how does my organization or myself become a member?

You will receive privileged access to information, the possibility to participate in the ISCC general assembly, stakeholder meetings, conferences, and regional and technical committees. You will also have active influence on strategy and future developments of the ISCC system, etc. To become a member of the ISCC Association please fill out this form and return it by fax or mail to info@iscc-system.org. 

Where do I find the ISCC documents?

How do I receive access to the client section?

Please note that the client section of our website is for registered users and members only. In order to proceed, please send a message to registration@iscc-system.org including your company name and preferably you ISCC registration number.  

Registration and certification

 

Which certification scheme is right for me?

The type of certification depends on your market application. If your target market is biofuels in the EU, the ISCC EU certificate must be applied. ISCC EU is recognised by the European Commission to demonstrate compliance with the EU’s sustainability criteria for biofuels set out in the RED. It is widely established and applies to all operators in the biofuel supply chain. 

ISCC PLUS covers non-regulated markets for products derived from circular, bio-based and renewable material, e.g. in the markets of industrial applications, food, feed and biofuels outside the EU. If you are interested in producing Sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) eligible under the ICAO CORSIA scheme, please have a look at ISCC CORSIA certification. 

Do I have to be in the EU to be certified under ISCC EU?

No, ISCC EU certification is relevant for any company which handles sustainable material that will eventually be sold as biofuel in the EU. 

What are the steps to become certified?

The  ISCC certification process includes these main steps: 

  1. Choose a CB and to sign a contract with them.  
  1. Get rRegistered with ISCC andby filling out the ISCC registration form 
  1. Get audited by your certification body and receive your ISCC certificate 
  1. Handle sustainable material and use ISCC logos and claims 

Your CB will be able to answer specific questions regarding individual certification cases e.g., regarding the applicable scopes. 

How do I submit a new ISCC registration?

The first step to become ISCC certified is to choose a certification body (CB) and to sign a contract with them. A list with all recognised CBs is provided on ourwebsite. Then you should register with ISCC, by filling out a registration form, which you can find here. After the audit has been conducted successfully, the certificate will be issued from your certification body. 

Can I get certified under several ISCC schemes?

Yes, it is possible to get certified under multiple schemes. There are no limits on the combination. If you are adding an additional certification scheme to the same operational unit, you do not need to apply for a new registration number. Please contact your certification body in this regardfor more information about adding a scheme to your certification. 

I need to change something in my registration – what should I do?

In order to change data in a submitted registration, please send us an email to registration@iscc-system.org stating the name of your company, ISCC registration number, and what you would like us to change. 

I have recently changed certification bodies – how do I inform ISCC?

Please send us an email to registration@iscc-system.org stating the name and ISCC registration number of your company and the name of the new certification body and the date the new contract was signed. 

What is meant by “Total Turnover” in the registration form?

The overall turnover of all products at that legal entity are relevant – not only the turnover of the sustainable material.

Do you recommend certain CBs for specific scopes?

ISCC does not give recommendations on which certification body to choose. However, you can find a list of all cooperating Certification Bodies here on our website. Most of them are active on a global scale with representatives in many regions of the world. You may also browse through the valid ISCC certificates of companies located in your relevant country by entering it the search function below the table in the row “certificate holder” 

What are the costs associated with ISCC certification?

ISCC provides an overview of ISCC fees for system users, cooperating certification bodies and members of the ISCC Association (ISCC e.V.). Please note that the costs for the certification audit are not included in the ISCC fees for registration and certification and have to be discussed with the certification body directly. 

Is it possible to add a storage facility, input material or product to my certification during the certification period?

Yes, this is possible. Please communicate this to your certification body who will then decide if an additional audit is necessary or not. The updated documents will be sent to ISCC and the new certificate uploaded on the ISCC website. 

Audit and verification

 

What do I have to keep in mind for my audit?

Please find the ISCC certification process here. The requirements to be fulfilled depend on the scope of the company to be certified. The ISCC audit procedures are scope-specific and provide all relevant requirements. The audit procedures are based on the ISCC System Documents. Further documents are provided in the client section of the ISCC website. It is strongly recommended to plan the audit in time. 

Do I need ISCC certified material before the certification can start?

For an initial audit, you need to prepare templates and other documents (please see check list in client section). The receipt of sustainable material is only possible if the recipient has a valid certificate (ISCC System Document 203, chapter 3.2.2).  Exceptions apply to First Gaterhing Points and Collecting Points (please refer to ISCC System Document 203, chapters 3.4.3 and 3.4.6).

What is the validity of a certificate?

The validity period of all ISCC certificates is one year – precondition is the successful audit. 

Which certification bodies do you cooperate with and do they have auditors in all countries?

Please find all the certification bodies that ISCC cooperates with here on our website. Many of them work on a global basis. Please get in touch with the contact person for more information regarding your specific set-up.  

How long does it take to receive a certificate?

This highly depends on what you already have in place and how quickly you can prepare for the audit. Please contact a cooperation certification body first and discuss their availabilty with them. Under ISCC rules, CBs have a maximum of 60 days to issue the certificate from the day that the audit is completed.  

How long do I have to store my records?

Please refer to ISCC System Document 203 – Traceability and Chain of Custody.  

How many certificates do I need? Do I need to register each operational site separately?

The certificates are site specific, which means that per legal entity and per location one certificate is necessary. Under this certificate several inputs / outputs, raw material categories and market activities (processing, storing, etc.) can be covered. For each operational site that shall get certified, an individual registration form needs to be submitted. 

My certificate hasn’t been published on the ISCC website yet, when can I begin selling material?

Your certificate is valid from the date of issue, so it is permitted to handle sustainable material once you receive your certificate from the certification body, even if it hasn’t been published on the ISCC website yet. 

Chain of Custody and Traceability

 

Which chain of custody options are possible under ISCC?

Under ISCC EU the Chain of Custody options Mass Balance and Physical Segregation are possible. ISCC PLUS also provides the option Controlled Blending. Information about the approaches is available in the documents 203 Traceability and Chain of Custody as well as the ISCC PLUS document 

Where do I find information on the requirements related to mass balance?

Please review the ISCC EU system document 203 and ISCC PLUS system document, chapter 9.4.3.

What kind of information needs to be forwarded on ISCC PLUS sustainability declarations?

For the ISCC EU standard this is summarized in chapter 3.3.3. of the ISCC EU system document 203. The ISCC PLUS System Document, chapter 9.2 provides an overview of the relevant requirements.

Can certified and non-certified materials (e.g. if technically equivalent) be stored together in one silo or do they need to be kept separately?

Under mass balance it is certainly possible to store materials/products together while under the chain of custody option “physical segregation” those would need to be kept separately.

How long is a mass balance period?

The maximum length of one mass balance period is three months.  

What is a surveillance audit and when must a surveillance audit be conducted?

Mandatory surveillance audits have to be conducted by the certification body six months after the first (initial) certification of any economic operator in a high-risk supply chain. A high risk applies to economic operators that are collecting, processing, storing or trading materials, which may be eligible for extra incentives in individual EU Member States (e.g. double-counting), such as waste and residues or waste and residue-based products. 

For collecting points and traders that are dealing with both waste and residues (e.g. used cooking oil or animal fat) and with virgin vegetable oils (e.g. palm oil, rapeseed oil), a surveillance audit shall be conducted three months after the first (initial) certification (covering the first mass balance period). This surveillance audit shall be conducted in addition to the surveillance audit that has to take place six months after the first certification and shall follow the same risk-based approach. This additional surveillance audit three months after the first certification may be conducted remotely if a risk assessment for the individual system user by the certification body has demonstrated a regular risk. If the risk assessment has shown a risk higher than regular, the surveillance audit shall be conducted on-site. 

Further information about surveillance audits is available in the ISCC document 203: Traceability and Chain of Custody 

Is it possible to sell material prior to receiving the physical material and to receive/acquire/purchase the credits later on?

The balance of the mass balance must be established at the end of the period (maximum three months). Selling certified material without having the equivalent amount in stocks (to go short) imposes the risk to run into a negative mass balance which is considered as a major non-conformity under ISCC.

How can returns due to e.g. damaged or insufficient quality be handled?

Option 1: The acceptance of the (defective) goods is refused, i.e. they are returned to the supplier. In this case, companies have to provide clear evidence and documentation on the refusal process so that the auditor can transparently verify physical and bookkeeping flows of incoming and outgoing materials.

Option 2: The goods are returned, but the customer issues an SD for them. In this case, the supplier must have booked out the corresponding quantity in the mass balance. The returned goods can then be booked in into the mass balance again (with the new SD).

Does ISCC provide a mass balance template?

As of today, ISCC does not provide such a template. Companies are also free to integrate their mass balance calculations in existing internal software/ ERP systems. In addition, the ISCC PLUS training covers this topic extensively and provides a mass balance calculation as a training element in the group work tasks.

Does the supplier need to provide an LCA analysis and do ISCC PLUS certified companies have to calculate GHG emissions?

ISCC provides a detailed guidance on GHG emission calculation and verification. While for the road transport mandatory, certified operators for industrial applications can include carbon footprint calculations via the voluntary GHG add-on. Please find more information in the ISCC System Document 205 – GHG Emissions and in the ISCC PLUS System Document.

Logos and Claims

 

Does a company need to be ISCC certified to sell ISCC certified products with an on-product logo?

To sell ISCC certified material with an on-product logo, an ISCC certification or license is mandatory. Please find more information regarding the ISCC licensing scheme here.

Do you have an on-product logo for materials that are linked to both, PCR and bio-attributed ISCC compliant material?

Yes, this possible. Please refer to the document ISCC 208 – ‘Logos and Claims’.

 

Is it mandatory to use the ISCC logo or to have an ISCC claim on-pack?

It is not mandatory, but much appreciated. Please contact ISCC in advance before using an ISCC logo or ISCC claim. To obtain approval by ISCC and to receive the logo file(s), please fill in this form on the ISCC website.

Does a brand owner need to be certified?

For brand owners who do not alter the certified material, ISCC has developed and implemented an ISCC licensing scheme, which does not require an annual audit. It allows for credible and ISCC specific claims and application of the ISCC logo (on- and off-product). Please find all information and requirements regarding the ISCC licensing scheme here.

ISCC PLUS specific questions

 

Where can I get more information about the ISCC PLUS certification system?

A mass balance period is three months. Does this mean that system users have to sell all certified material within this timeframe?

No, the certified material does not need to be sold within three months. Positive credits can be transferred from one mass balance period to the next as long as the certificate is valid. However, it is not allowed to sell more sustainable material than received in stock (go negative) at the end of each mass balance period.  

Is it allowed to state percentages on sustainability declarations?

The indication of mt or m3 of the certified material must be indicated on the sustainability declaration. If necessary, it is possible to indicate the quantity and percentage in addition to the metric tons, however it must be very clear how much of the material is ISCC certified.  

Is it possible to combine several raw material categories on one sustainability declaration?

If a certified material/product comprises more than one raw material category, this can be stated on one sustainability declaration. In that case the amounts must be kept separately per raw material category.  

How can returns due to e.g. damaged or insufficient quality be handled?

  • Option 1: the acceptance of the (defective) goods is refused, i.e. they are returned to the supplier. In this case, companies have to provide clear evidence and documentation on the refusal process so that the auditor can transparently verify physical and bookkeeping flows of incoming and outgoing materials.  
  • Option 2: The goods are returned, but the customer issues an SD for them. In this case, the supplier must have booked out the corresponding quantity in the mass balance. The returned goods can then be booked in into the mass balance again (with the new SD). 

Does ISCC provide a mass balance template?

As of today, ISCC does not provides such a template. Companies are also free to integrate their mass balance calculations in existing internal software/ ERP systems. In addition, the ISCC PLUS training covers this topic extensively and provides a mass balance calculation as a training element in the group work tasks.  

Does the supplier need to provide an LCA analysis and do ISCC PLUS certified companies have to calculate GHG emissions? N

ISCC provides a detailed guidance on GHG emission calculation and verification. While for the road transport mandatory, certified operators for industrial applications can include carbon footprint calculations via the voluntary GHG add-on. Please find more information in the ISCC System Document 205 – GHG Emissions and in the ISCC PLUS System Document. 

Nabisy

 

How do I register for Nabisy?

You can find the Nabisy application forms in the client section for System Users. Please fill out the relevant application form and send it to register-nabisy@iscc-system.org 

How do I change the contact data for my Nabisy account?

Please fill out an amendment form and send it to register-nabisy@iscc-system.org. You can find the Nabisy application forms in the client section for System Users. 

What is the status of my Nabisy applicaiton and/or my login data?

In general, the processing of your Nabisy application can take up to a few days.  

If you have already received an e-mail confirmation by ISCC saying that your application was transferred to the BLE, please contact the BLE directly via nabisy@ble.de to inquire about the status.   

If you have not received this e-mail yet, please first check with the official responsible person for ISCC in your company if a confirmation e-mail was received before contacting ISCC.   

Trainings and Events

 

Which e-mail address do I need to indicate in the registration form on the website?

Please always indicate the e-mail address of the attendee in the registration form. We will need the contact details for further communication with the participants. 

When will I receive the confirmation and invoice?

After submitting the registration, you will receive the confirmation and invoice within two working days. 

Are the prices indicated in euro? Do I need a VAT ID to register for the trainings?

All our prices are indicated in Euro and without VAT. If the VAT-ID is required, please send us the VAT-ID number or confirm that your company does not have a valid VAT-ID number. In the latter case we will issue an invoice with VAT.  

How can I pay for the training?

Please note that we cannot register ISCC in individual invoicing platforms. You can either pay via bank transfer or Credit Card Payment. For special payment inquiries, please contact invoicing@iscc-system.org. 

If I have to cancel my registration, how do I proceed?

Cancellation of registration up to 42 days before the seminar is free of charge. Up to 30 days before seminar 20% of course costs will be charged. Cancellation up to 14 days prior to seminar date 50% of course cost will be charged and up to 7 days prior to the seminar 80% of the seminar costs. Less than 7 days prior to the seminar, 100% of course costs will be charged. If you need to cancel your registration, please contact training@iscc-system.org. 

How are the ISCC trainings structured?

The trainings are held in English and in Central European (Summer) Time. The trainings are held via the online platform Zoom. Please always update Zoom to the latest version before joining the training. 

When do I receive the access link to Zoom and the training material?

The meeting link & training material will only be sent out if the payment fee or a proof of payment was received by ISCC. Please send a proof of payment to ISCC training training@iscc-system.org. One day prior to the training date, you will receive the training material and Zoom link. The material can be downloaded via Dropbox and WeTransfer. If your firmware does not allow to download the material, please use another device as we cannot upload the material to individual platforms. 

Do I receive the solutions of the group works?

After the training you will receive the solutions of the group works. Please note: We will not provide a recording of the training. It is also not allowed to record the training yourself. 

How long does the qualification remain valid?

Every ISCC auditor qualification must be renewed every five years. For further details please have a look into the document ISCC 103 Requirements for Certification Bodies and Auditors. 

Is the test in Thinkific mandatory?

For auditors it is mandatory to successfully complete the test. 

How can I access the test in Thinkific?

You will be enrolled by ISCC staff within three working days after the training in the online test platform Thinkific and receive an e-mail from Thinkific 

How much time do I have to complete the test?

Generally, 8 weeks from the date of enrollment. Exception: For the Waste and Residues Training you have 4 weeks to complete the test. After the expiration date, the tests will no longer be available in Thinkific. For technical issues, please contact ISCC training. 

Does the ISCC Online Test for Auditors involve extra costs?

No, auditors will be enrolled within one week after the training. The test does not involve extra costs. 

How do I receive the official attestation for auditors?

After completion of the test, please forward the certificate of completion to ISCC training. You will receive the attestation from ISCC. 

Materials

 

Which materials can be certified under ISCC?

Depending on the selected certification scheme, meaning ISCC EU, ISCC PLUS or ISCC CORSIA, different materials can be certified. ISCC provides list a of certifiable materials for each certification system in the client section. All materials that can be covered under ISCC EU or ISCC CORSIA can also be covered under ISCC PLUS. 

I would like to certify a material, that is currently not included in the ISCC materials lists. How do I proceed?

The ISCC materials lists are continuously developed further. In case you would like to add a material to the ISCC lists, please send your request via the contact form. 

How do I add a new waste or residue material to the ISCC EU list of materials?

In order to add a new waste or residue material to the ISCC EU list of materials, ISCC requires sufficient evidence demonstrating that the material is recognized as a waste or residue in at least one EU Member State within the framework of the REDII and FQD. Please note that the acceptance of a final product (e.g. biofuel) produced from a raw material which was certified according to the ISCC waste and residue certification process is always the decision of the authorities of the particular EU Member State where the final product comes onto the market (e.g. to fulfil biofuel quota obligations).