FAQs

What is a code of conduct?
Who should adopt the code?
Why did PPAI publish the Code and why are members encouraged to sign it? What are the benefits of adopting the Code?
What are my obligations if my company adopts this Code?
Does the Code require more than what is already required by law?
If all the elements of the Code are required by law, why do I need to take the additional step to adopt it?
Who has already adopted the Code?
How do I sign the Code?
How do I get the word out to my industry contacts that my company has adopted the Code?
Is there a cost associated with signing or using the Code?
Is the Code mandatory for PPAI members?
Are nonmembers allowed to adopt the Code?
What happens if a company that adopted the Code is found to be in violation of the Code?
Should I do business with companies that have not adopted the Code?
I source my products from overseas. How can I make sure that non-U.S. manufacturers are following these guidelines?
My company is not unionized. Why do I have to acknowledge the right of workers to form or join a union?
Where do I find out what the safety standards are for the products I carry?
What are the minimum age provisions for workers?
Where can I access a list of applicable wage, work hours, benefits and overtime laws and regulations?
Can I access a list of all applicable laws and regulations for safety, health, sanitation, lighting, ventilation and fire safety protection?
Where can I access a list of all applicable environmental laws and regulations?

What is a code of conduct?
It is the tangible presentation of what you are doing to meet the expectations of the end buyer for product safety, social and environmental assurances. It is a document a supplier can hand a distributor, and what a distributor can hand to an end buyer as a public statement of the company’s environmental, safety and quality commitments.

Who should adopt the code?
PPAI recommends that all members—suppliers, distributors and business services companies—adopt this voluntary Code of Conduct. Many of the largest and most well-respected companies in the industry have already adopted the Code. View a list of early adopters.

Why did PPAI publish the Code and why are members encouraged to sign it? What are the benefits of adopting the Code?
The consumer products market is becoming increasingly regulated and subject to scrutiny by many government agencies and consumer groups. The Code of Conduct is one way in which industry companies can publicly demonstrate their commitment to responsible business practices. Many end buyers, particularly larger businesses, have already adopted their own Code of Product Responsibility Conduct and often look for their business partners to adopt a code of conduct as well.

What are my obligations if my company adopts this Code?
We ask that you review the Code carefully and thoughtfully before adopting it. The Code is entirely voluntary and no audits or inspections of your company would ever be required. However, it is important that this commitment reflect a conscientious effort on the part of the signer to aspire to be in compliance with all elements of the Code.

Does the Code require more than what is already required by law?
No. The statements in the PPAI Code of Conduct do not obligate you to anything more than that which is already required under U.S. law.

If all the elements of the Code are required by law, why do I need to take the additional step to adopt it?  The statements contained in the Code of Conduct are widely accepted as international principles and many end buyers expect their vendors to possess a code of conduct. Increasingly, large corporations require vendors to adopt a code of conduct before doing business with them.

Who has already adopted the Code?
Many of the largest and most well-respected companies in the industry have already adopted the Code. View a list of early adopters.

How do I sign the Code?
PPAI has created a web form that will allow you to electronically sign the Code. Once you complete the form, PPAI will update your membership records to reflect your adoption of the Code.

How do I get the word out to my industry contacts that my company has adopted the Code?
PPAI has developed a Code of Conduct logo that you will be able to post on your website. This logo will link to a copy of the Code itself. Additionally, PPAI will add your company to its list of early adopters. Finally, PPAI is working with industry partners to make the adoption of the Code of Conduct a searchable field on industry search engines. Look for more information on this soon.

Is there a cost associated with signing or using the Code?
No. All industry professionals are encouraged to adopt the Code at no charge.

Is the Code mandatory for PPAI members?
No. The Code is entirely voluntary.

Are nonmembers allowed to adopt the Code?
Yes. All industry professionals, members and nonmembers, are encouraged to adopt the Code.

What happens if a company that adopted the Code is found to be in violation of the Code?
The Code is voluntary and operates on the honor system. There are no inspections, audits or penalties associated with violation of the Code. However, the statements included in the Code are already required by U.S. law and violation of those laws could result in penalties and/or fines regardless of whether or not a company adopted the Code.

Should I do business with companies that have not adopted the Code?
The Code is not intended to limit or in any way control your selection of business partners.

I source my products from overseas. How can I make sure that non-U.S. manufacturers are following these guidelines? 
You can ask your overseas partners to adopt this Code and you can require them to develop and implement internal business procedures to ensure compliance with your own company policies.

My company is not unionized. Why do I have to acknowledge the right of workers to form or join a union?
The “Freedom of Association” statement included in the Code reflects what is in United States law under the National Labor Relations Act.

Where do I find out what the safety standards are for the products I carry?
It is important to keep in mind that, with some notable exceptions (the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, CPSIA, for example), conformity with specific standards applicable to any promotional product itself is rarely required by law. Conformity is either specifically required by the end buyer or based on the promotional products supplier or distributor’s assessment of the end buyer’s and consumer’s expectations. Second, the standards development process is voluntary and decentralized, thus there is rarely “the standard” for a particular promotional product. There may be multiple standards that may apply to a promotional product, some for performance and some for design.

To help you find out what the specific requirements are for compliance with CPSIA, PPAI has developed an automated flowchart that will walk you through the testing process and identify tests and paperwork.

What are the minimum age provisions for workers?
This information is maintained by the U.S. Department of Labor and is available here.

Where can I access a list of applicable wage, work hours, benefits and overtime laws and regulations?
The International Labour Organization (ILO) maintains a database of international labor standards.

Can I access a list of all applicable laws and regulations for safety, health, sanitation, lighting, ventilation and fire safety protection?
The International Labour Organization (ILO) maintains a database of international labor standards.

Where can I access a list of all applicable environmental laws and regulations?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has published its Environmental Guides. You can access environmental standards through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

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