Trader Protocol 3.0 is launched

We are pleased to publish Version 3.0 of the LWG Assessment Protocol for traders.  The latest edition is suitable for the following types of trader operation:

  • Traders who buy material (either raw or part-processed) and sell it on to customers in a part-processed state
  • Traders who buy part-processed or finished material and sell it on to customers in a finished state
  • Traders who buy raw or part-processed material, send it out for sub-contract operations and then sell it on to customers in a finished state*

To be eligible for a Trader Audit the following conditions apply:

  • Traders must have a permanent warehouse facility where material is brought in before dispatch to customers
  • Traders must be able to demonstrate physical and administrative separation of material that originates from LWG certified facilities and material from non-LWG certified facilities

You are NOT eligible for a Trader Audit if you:

  • Buy and sell material in the raw state (these traders perform no production and therefore are outside of the scope of LWG)
  • Buy and sell material, in any state, shipping direct from supplier to customer (i.e. a Paper Trader only).

*SUBCONTRACTING MANUFACTURERS (VIRTUAL TANNERS):  Organisations that buy raw or wet blue material, processes it through external subcontractors and then sell the finished material as their own are categorised as subcontracting manufacturers.  LWG is currently developing a system to audit this type of operation which will be in the form of an enhanced Trader Protocol assessment that includes audits of all subcontracted operations and assessment of RSL compliance.  LWG anticipates that this system of assessment will be available by the summer of 2020.  Until this system is developed we cannot yet conduct audits of subcontracting manufacturers. 

Raw Material Traders and Paper Traders can join LWG through the supplier subscription route to membership which does not confer certified status but does allow traders of this nature to participate in the work of LWG and have access to the member benefits that are available for brands, suppliers and other providers to the leather industry.

Raw Hide & Skin Traders and Paper Traders (who do not process any material) are termed "Agent Traders".  Please note that this route to membership does not entitle the Agent Trader to market their business as a LWG rated facility but as a Member of Leather Working Group only.  For more information about becoming a member as an Agent Trader please click here: Leather Working Group Supplier Membership

If you are unsure of the appropriate route to membership for your type of trade, please click email: 


Key changes for version 3.0 are:

  • Removal of the 2-tier audit.  All traders much now demonstrate separation of material from LWG and non-LWG certified facilities
  • Mandatory minimum response from LWG suppliers and LWG customers for verification of volumes
  • Removal of the desk-based interim audit.  All audits will be performed on-site

It should be noted that the only way to achieve a 100% score will be if all material is physically marked at source in order to demonstrate reasonable separation of LWG origin material.  There will be 5% reduction of score if material can only be physically marked at incoming to a trader facility and a further 5% reduction of score if the only method of separation of LWG material is through differentiated paperwork and physical separation at the trader facility.

THERE IS AN INTRODUCTORY PERIOD OF 6 MONTHS DURING WHICH TIME AN EXISTING APPROVED TRADER CAN CHOOSE TO BE AUDITED USING V2.0.3 OR V3.0 (excluding finished material traders or new traders who must audit under V3.0).


Trader Protocol 3.0
Trader Protocol 2.0.3
Physical Marking of Material for Category A Traders

Following detailed discussion with the Trader Working Group, Technical Sub-Group and Executive Committee, it is clear that for some of our trader members, engaging suppliers to get material physically marked at source is a complex and difficult transition.

LWG does not want to disengage our existing audited trader members with a stipulation that will mean they are unable to retain their ‘Category A’ Trader status through circumstances they cannot control.

Therefore, a decision has been taken to adjust the requirement for 100% physical marking from 1st January 2018, with the following 3-tiered approach:

Criteria for Category A Traders:


100% physically marked at source

100% of score

100% physically marked at incoming

95% of score

100% traceable through robust paperwork and physical separation

90% of score


A trader that is unable to demonstrate any of the above and operates with mixed input material (LWG & non-LWG) will be a Category B Trader.

This scoring percentage will be reduced again in January 2019 with the eventual adoption of 100% physically marked at source being mandatory with the introduction of P7 (not likely before the fall of 2019).

For further information or clarification please contact your auditor directly or contact:


Can I Have A Trader Audit?
Trader Protocol Auditors
There are currently 7 auditors who are undertaking Trader audits:
You can find out more about the auditors by visiting our auditor page here:  Our LWG Auditors
It is expected that all auditors will be available to undertake Trader Assessment Audits in 2019

Translations of the LWG Trader Assessment Protocol - For Reference Only

The translations below are for Assessment Protocol for Traders 2.0.2.  Please note that translated language versions are intended as a guide only, to assist in preparation for an audit.  All actual assessment audits will be conducted in the English language version.


Information Bulletins

With the launch of the Trader Protocol in October 2016 and the introduction of Protocol 6.5 which comes into mandatory effect from 1st October 2017, there are important changes that will have an effect on the scoring for many of our leather manufacturers when they next undergo an audit.  The bulletins below are designed to give more guidance: