4C Certification · System Documents

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4C System Updates

In the event of adjustments or other changes to the 4C System requirements, 4C communicates the adjustments to all Managing Entities (MEs) of 4C Units and all Certification Bodies (CBs) cooperating with 4C via System Updates.

It is the responsibility of the ME and CB to take the system updates into account and inform all relevant members of staff and Business Partners (BPs) about such updates.


01 April 2019 – System Update 1

Topics: 4C system updates; New 4C procedure: which cycle to use for the recertification audit; In case of new BPs joining a 4C unit or a break between two certification cycles, which cycle should be used for recertification; Revision of 4C audit report; Multiple producers cultivating and selling coffee from the same plot: how to register this in the BPM; Availability of geo-coordinates of BPs in the BPM; Obligation to participate in a 4C training

14 November 2019 – System Update 2

Topics: Clarification: 4C audit report – Which cycle to use in a recertification audit; Non-conformities identified in previous audits; Completeness and correctness of BPM data; Use of old versions of the 4C logo


09 January 2020 – System Update 3


  • New BPM template 3.6 published
  • Updated 4C portal views
  • Use of the GRAS tool for risk-based sample calculation
  • Extension of the transition period on the clearance of non-conformities

10 March 2020 –  System Update 4


  • Important notification on exceptions due to Corona virus
  • 4C includes glyphosate into the 4C Yellow Pesticide List
  • 4C Classified Chemicals tool
  • Use of the new BPM functions in the 4C portal
  • 4C impact survey for Certification Bodies and Managing Entities

06 April 2020 –  System Update 5


  • Phase out of the Rainforest Alliance (RA) certificate recognition
  • Reminder: Survey on 4C impact
  • Audit checklist translations
  • Addition: Important notification on exceptions due to Corona virus

01 July 2020 – System Update 6


  • Roll out of the new 4C System documents

05 August 2020 –  System Update 7


  • Important notification on exceptions due to Corona virus
  • Mandatory contact update via the 4C portal
  • Clarification on forming new 4C Units with old Business Partners (BPs)
  • Translation of documents
  • Transition period for the new 4C System requirements
  • 4C Online-Trainings 2020


21 January 2021 – System Update 8


  • Business Partners Traders licensed by the Managing Entity to sell 4C certified coffee to First Buyers
  • Clarification on the deadlines for submission and approval of Annual Update documents
  • Translation of 4C System documents and audit checklist

04 March 2021 – System Update 9


  • Remote audit guidance
  • Clarification: Possibility of merging audits

30 June 2021 – System Update 10


  • End of Transition Rules communicated in the framework of introducing the new System Regulations
  • Sample calculation of BP Service Providers
  • Clarification: Geographical scope not required for Chain of Custody (CoC) certification
  • Replacement Terms of Use for Intermediary Buyers (ToU IBs) through the Terms of Use for Intermediary Buyers and Buyers of Processed Coffee (ToU IBs and BPCs)

12 August 2021 – System Update 11


  • Clarification on Procedures for the 4C Chain of Custody (CoC) Certification