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Sublicense FAQ

What is a sublicense?

A sublicense allows the BPI logo to be used by a customer of a BPI Member for private label products, for resale under the customer’s brand. It is a simple one-page signed, 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. Artwork files are submitted to BPI to approve before production.

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 product that displays 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 is 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 the one 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, but must submit an application for certification testing. This is to avoid abuse of the sublicense, where the customer may actually be 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 must be manufactured at the authorized facilities of the BPI Member supplier, including product and packaging, without exception. If any modifications are done by the sublicensed company, such as date labeling, BPI must be informed ahead of time or they risk losing the certification.

To issue a sublicense BPI needs the following:

  1. The customer (sublicensee) needs to submit their company profile information to BPI if they are not already in the BPI database.
  2. The cost of the sublicense is $500 USD per year. This is billed to the BPI Member supplier (licensee). Any internal billing between the two companies is determined by supplier and the customer.
  3. Both companies need to submit their product lists to BPI for the sublicense, either directly in the database or on a product worksheet. For the worksheet option, the supplier needs to list their brand(s), product titles and SKUs in YELLOW and the customer lists their associated brand(s), product titles and SKUs in GREEN. It can then be submitted to BPI.
  4. 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. Once the signed agreement is sent back to BPI, it will be countersigned by BPI and finalized. New certification marks (if needed) will be released upon completion of the agreement and payment of the fees.
  5. Layouts for products and packaging must be approved by BPI prior to production, and may be submitted at any time during the process.

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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