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Licensing and labelling

Here are details concerning use of the quality seals.

Licensing Fees

A licen­sing contract is signed with IVN or GOTS as issuing autho­rity of the appro­priate seal that speci­fies, among other things, the licen­sing fee payable.  For the use of the IVN quality seals BEST and NATURLEDER, non-member compa­nies currently pay a fee of 1.5% of the sales achieved with the labeled product. A one-time fee of 750 € for the regis­tra­tion of logo use is due for the first certi­fi­ca­tion. The final licen­sing fee is offset by this amount.  IVN members are exempt from licen­sing fees for BEST or NATURLEDER products.

The GOTS licen­sing fee is not based on sales but rather on the number of inspected produc­tion plants. The licen­sing fee is 120 € for every produc­tion plant inspected for the label user. Certi­fied businesses that are members of IVN pay half of the licen­sing fee (60 €/year/production plant).

Quality seals can be added directly to the product (for example on the label, hangtag or via imprint) in marke­ting certi­fied leather goods, textiles or half-finished products.  There is no additional fee for the use of the logos.

Use of the IVN Quality seal

The follo­wing infor­ma­tion must always be printed in conjunc­tion with the quality seal:

  • speci­fi­ca­tion of the certi­fier respon­sible for the certi­fi­ca­tion of the certi­fied product (name and /or logo of the certi­fier)
  • speci­fi­ca­tion of the certi­fied business (Name and/or licen­sing number of the certi­fied business)

If the GOTS logo is used, the appro­priate label level must also be speci­fied. In addition to its function as identi­fying certi­fied GOTS products, the GOTS logo also repres­ents the Global Organic Textile Standard itself.  It must there­fore be used exclu­si­vely in an appro­priate and unambi­guous context, for example for purposes of infor­ma­tion or marke­ting by

  • members of the inter­na­tional working group (IWG)
  • designated certi­fiers in reference to their recognized status and in reference to the services offered in that context
  • certi­fied business and dealers in GOTS products in reference to their status as certi­fied businesses and/or their GOTS products that are labeled with the GOTS logo.
  • NGOs, media and others who provide indepen­dent (consumer) infor­ma­tion.

The complete licen­sing requi­re­ments as well as requi­re­ments pertai­ning to the use of the label (inclu­ding design speci­fics) are found in the guide­lines for licen­sing and labeling, avail­able for download here.

Guide­lines for licen­sing and labeling (German)

Obligation for certification for product labeling

It is vital for IVN as standard issuing autho­rity that a credible and standard product security is guaran­teed.  Consu­mers that buy a labeled product must be assured that this product has been fully inspected and certi­fied. That is why there are strict requi­re­ments for the use of logos.

Finis­hing and manufac­tu­ring plants begin­ning with the fiber sourcing methods through yarn or surface produc­tion and inclu­ding sewing, packa­ging and labeling are only allowed to use the logo if they are themselves certi­fied.  The IVN quality assurance system requires that, in addition to the entire finis­hing and manufac­tu­ring chain, B2B businesses (businesses that sell to other businesses, for example whole­sa­lers, import- and export agencies) must parti­ci­pate in the inspec­tion and certi­fi­ca­tion process if the final product is to be labeled with an IVN quality seal.  Although trading entities do not change the product, they buy and sell certi­fied products and are there­fore important links in terms of trans­pa­rency for and tracea­bi­lity in the produc­tion chain. The certi­fi­ca­tion of trading entities focuses on the documen­ta­tion of product flows. To achieve this, certi­fiers compare the quanti­ties of products bought as opposed to quanti­ties sold to verify that all products bearing the GOTS, BEST or NATURLEDER seal have actually been certi­fied. The requi­re­ment that whole­sa­lers be certi­fied ensures that they are aware of the need for documen­ta­tion to confirm the  authen­ti­city of certi­fied products. Their certi­fi­ca­tion thus contri­butes to assuring the integrity of certi­fied products. Businesses certi­fied according to IVN BEST and Natur­leder are obligated to label their products. Businesses certi­fied according to GOTS are not obligated – their labeling is volun­tary. Retailers (inclu­ding chains) that sell prepa­ckaged and labeled IVN certi­fied finished products exclu­si­vely and directly to consu­mers are exempted from the certi­fi­ca­tion requi­re­ment. Whole­sa­lers whose gross annual sales of certi­fied products amount to less than 5,000€ are also exempted from the certi­fi­ca­tion requi­re­ment insofar as they neither repack nor relabel certi­fied products. They must, however, be regis­tered with an accredited certi­fier and immedia­tely inform the latter if their sales exceed 5,000€