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Sublicense FAQ

What is a sublicense?

A sublicense allows the BPI Certification Mark to be used by a customer of a BPI Member for private label products, for resale under the customer’s brand. It is a legally binding agreement that details a product list with both the supplier’s and their customer’s product titles and SKUs. At completion, the customer is issued BPI Certification Mark files that include their own unique BPI Company ID number. Product and packaging artwork files showing the display of the BPI Certification Marks must be submitted to BPI for approval before finalization of the sublicense agreement.

When does a company need to have a sublicense?

When a company purchases BPI-certified product from a supplier for resale purposes, REBRANDED with their own brand name INSTEAD of the supplier’s brand. The product must display the customer’s (sublicensee's) unique BPI Company ID number.

When a company purchases BPI-certified product for resale purposes, COBRANDED with BOTH their brand and the supplier’s brand displayed. EITHER the supplier’s BPI Company ID number or the purchaser’s BPI Company ID number can be displayed on the product.

In which situations is a sublicense NOT required?

When a company purchases BPI-certified products that display the supplier’s brand name only (i.e., a distributor that uses the original brand name). The supplier’s brand and BPI Company ID number are displayed, and no sublicense is required.

When a company co-brands (both brand names are displayed on the item) and it IS NOT for resale, specifically for foodservice items used in a restaurant. The supplier’s BPI Company ID number is displayed.

Are there any certified materials that cannot be sublicensed to a company?

YES. BPI-certified resins, film, granules, components and intermediates CANNOT be sublicensed for resale purposes, only finished products. A company can purchase these materials from a supplier to use in a finished product, but the finished product must go through the certification process. This is to avoid abuse of the sublicense, where the customer may actually be manufacturing or converting the material into a finished product.

Does a sublicense authorize a company to manufacture a certified product or its packaging?

NO.  All sublicensed products, including product and packaging, must be manufactured at the authorized facilities of the BPI Member supplier, without exception. If the sublicensee wants to make any modifications to the sublicensed products or packaging, such as adding date stamps, BPI must approve this ahead of time, or the sublicensee risks losing their ability to sublicense.  

To issue a sublicense BPI needs the following:

1. Payment:  The cost of the sublicense is $500 USD per year. BPI’s policy as of July 1, 2020 is that EITHER the Licensee / BPI Member OR the Sublicensee / Reseller can pay the initial annual sublicense fee and the subsequent annual renewal fee of $500 USD per year under their own company billing account. A completed company profile form from the reseller is required, including billing information, if the sublicensee will be responsible for fees. The Licensee and Sublicensee must agree to abide by the sublicense termination policy if the annual $500 fee is not paid by one of the two parties within 60 days of issuance of the invoice (i.e., sublicensees will have 6 months from the date of termination to sell through all product inventory displaying the BPI certification mark and remove all references to the BPI Certification Mark or claims from websites and promotional materials).

2. Product Worksheet:  Both companies need to submit their product lists for the sublicense to BPI on one product worksheet.  The Licensee lists their name, BPI Certificate Number(s), Product Names/ Titles, Brand(s), and SKUs in YELLOW, and the Sublicensee lists their company name, associated Product Names/Titles, Brand(s), SKUs, Thickness or Density, Colors & Printed/Unprinted, and Categories in GREEN. 

3. Artwork:  As stated in the sublicense agreement, the sublicensed products and their packaging must display the BPI Certification Mark showing the Sublicensee’s BPI Company ID Number.  Representative layouts of the product and packaging artwork showing the required display of the Certification Mark must be approved by BPI before the sublicense agreement is finalized.  BPI has watermarked versions of the Certification Marks for layout purposes available upon request.  Learn more about displaying the BPI Certification Mark.

4. Signatures:  Once the product worksheet is submitted, the invoice is paid, and the artwork is approved the sublicense letter is generated by BPI and sent back to the company that originally requested it. It is the responsibility of the company(s) requesting the sublicense to get signatures from both parties, not BPI.

5. Sublicense Complete:  Once the signed agreement is sent back to BPI, BPI will countersign and finalize the agreement.  The finalized agreement and Sublicensee's BPI certification marks will then be emailed to the Licensee and Sublicensee.  

BPI is a science-driven organization that supports a shift to the circular economy by promoting the production, use, and appropriate end of lives for materials and products that are designed to fully biodegrade in specific biologically active environments.

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