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Sublicensing vs. Certifying
While licensees/original certificate holders must complete the BPI Certification process in order to manufacture BPI-certified compostable products, companies that want to sell certified products that have been privately labeled with their own company brand must first sign a Sublicense Agreement with both the licensee and BPI.  A sublicense is a simple, legally binding agreement that details a product list with both the supplier’s and their customer’s product titles and SKUs.  This agreement allows the sublicensee to use the BPI Certification Marks on sublicensed products and packaging but doesn’t allow them to manufacture any BPI-certified products themselves.

When is a Sublicense Necessary?

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. 

When a company purchases BPI-certified product for resale purposes and the product carries BOTH the company’s brand AND the manufacturer’s identifier.  In this case, EITHER the supplier’s BPI cert number or the purchaser’s cert number can be displayed on the product.

Identification of Product(s) to Sublicense
The first step in the sublicense process is deciding which BPI-certified product(s) to sublicense.  Not all BPI-certified products are eligible for sublicensing, while others require additional considerations before a sublicense can be granted.  Resins and components, for instance, cannot be sublicensed, while pet waste bags are restricted to distribution in Canada only.  The sublicensed product must be completely covered by the tests conducted for certification by the licensee.  For example, if packaging film uses a hot-sealed edge that is not covered by the original film certificate's disintegration test, the film cannot be directly sublicensed.)

If you’re a company looking to sublicense from a BPI Member, please visit our searchable catalog for a list of BPI-certified products, and let BPI know if you need help contacting any Member companies to set up a Sublicense Agreement.  You will need approval from the licensee in order to move forward with the sublicense process.

The BPI Sublicensing 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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