Last updated 26 November 2020
Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), is a multi-stakeholder organisation stewarding the Better Cotton Standard System. BCI is the owner of the Better Cotton Platform and defines these Terms and Conditions.
Better Cotton Platform (BCP), is an online system owned by the BCI, and used by ginners, traders, spinners, other textile value chain actors, and by retailers and brands to document and make claims about their Better Cotton sourcing activities and sourced volumes.
BCP Account, is the access point to the BCP for all types of companies who are sourcing Better Cotton. A BCP Account is given to one company or business unit.
BCP User, is the person who goes through BCI’s online or in-person training on the Better Cotton Chain of Custody Guidelines and how to use the BCP. One BCP Account can have multiple BCP Users.
BCP Access, is the opportunity to access a BCP Account via one, or more BCP Users. BCP Access can be given to BCI members, and non BCI members, and these Terms and Conditions regulates BCP Access for non BCI members.
Better Cotton Claim Unit (BCCU), is a BCI-specific unit that measures the volume of Better Cotton sourced by supply chain actors and retailers and brands. One BCCU represents one kilogram of physical Better Cotton sourced from a ‘BCI gin’.
1.1. This document regulates the option for non BCI members to have access to the Better Cotton Platform, hereinafter referred to as BCP Access. As the owner of the BCP, BCI reserves the right to modify these Terms and Conditions, including the documents linked to these Terms and Conditions. The English version of this Agreement shall be binding. Any translated version shall serve for information purpose only.
1.2. BCP Access is limited to one BCP Account, per application. If a company, or group of companies wish to have multiple BCP Accounts they are required to purchase multiple accesses.
1.3. BCP Access is limited to 2 BCP Users.
1.4. The validity period for BCP Access is 12 months. The first validity period starts on the 1st of the month following the submission of the application form. The validity period is not dependent on when the BCP Access is activated, which is defined in section 2.2-3.
1.5. By applying for BCP Access, you accept that company names, contact names and email addresses may be shared within the BCP. For more information, please see the BCI Data Protection Policy. BCI also makes publicly available a list of supply chain companies with BCP Accounts. If a company does not want to appear on that list, it is requested to say so in the application form. Even if a company is excluded from the public list, it will be visible in the BCP, to other companies with BCP Access.
2. Application Process
2.1. Application for BCP Access is done via an electronic form where payment is done either via credit card, or via international bank transfer.
2.2. Before gaining the BCP Access the company must complete the following steps:
- Submit a completed application form.
- Make the payment of the BCP Access fee, as per the payment options set out in section 4. Fees and Payments.
- Complete the training course as per the section 3. Requirements. Upon receipt of a complete application and full payment BCI sends a link for its online training platform to the applicant’s primary contact.
2.3. Once all these steps are completed BCI will activate the BCP Access, with the start date as per section 1.4. It is the responsibility of the applicant to make sure all steps are fulfilled in a timely manner. BCI is not responsible for any delay in activation of the BCP Access because of a company not fulfilling the steps outlined in section 2.2 in a diligent manner.
3.1. To be eligible for BCP Access the following requirements must be met.
3.1.1. The company is a registered legal entity.
3.1.2. The representative that will act as the primary BCP User must complete and pass an online training course for the relevant account type. The primary contact is also responsible for all subsequent BCP Users of the BCP Account being properly trained.
3.2. The company must adhere to the Better Cotton Chain of Custody Guidelines, which governs the use of the BCP. This includes participation without delay in any audit of the BCP performed as per the Better Cotton Chain of Custody Guidelines.
3.3. It is the responsibility of the company applying for BCP Access to assure that all requirements are met, including having full knowledge of the latest version of the Better Cotton Chain of Custody Guidelines.
3.4. The company is not engaged in any activity which could damage the reputation or interests of BCI. BCI reserves the right to define such activities. they include but are not limited to social non-compliance, not respecting contract sanctity or being subject to international sanctions.
4. Fees and Payment
4.1. The fee for one BCP Access is 595€ and is valid for 12 months. The fee is subject to review on an annual basis.
4.2. There are two options for paying for the BCP Access.
- VISA or Mastercard
- International bank transfer
4.3. BCP Access is renewed annually by paying a renewal fee. Instructions on how to pay the renewal fee are sent to the primary contact approximately 30 days prior to the expiry date of the validity period. The renewal fee has to be paid timely so that it is properly reconciled in BCI’s account at the latest on the expiry date of the validity period.
4.4. The renewal fee is based on the applicable fee as per section 4.1 on the expiry date of the current validity period, or the payment date, whichever comes first.
4.5. When paying via international bank transfer the applicant is responsible for covering all related bank charges, including local taxes.
4.6. BCI will not reimburse or pro-rate fees if:
- BCP Access is activated after the validity period start date because the applicant did not fulfil the steps in section 2.2 before the validity period start date.
- BCP Access is suspended according to section 6.1, and eventually permanently closed according to section 6.2-3.
5.1. Companies with BCP Access can use the following statements, separately or together, when they communicate about BCI and Better Cotton.
5.1.1. ‘We’re proud to work with Members of The Better Cotton Initiative/BCI.’
5.1.2. ‘We have passed the Better Cotton Chain of Custody training and have access to the Better Cotton Platform.
5.2. Non BCI member companies with BCP Access are restricted to only use the statements in sub-sections 5.1.1 and 5.1.2. They are not permitted to use any of the claims outlined in the Better Cotton Claims Framework, which governs all communication about BCI and Better Cotton, including the use of the BCI logo.
6.1. A company that has not paid its renewal fee as per section 4.3 will have its BCP Access suspended on the day following the validity period end date. If the renewal fee has not been paid 3 months after the validity end date the BCP Account will be closed permanently.
6.2. A company that is in breach of the requirements in Section 3 or Section 5 will have its BCP Access suspended immediately. BCI will without delay notify the company specifying which paragraph they are in breach of, requesting them to correct it. Notification is considered valid via electronic mail to the primary BCP User contact, as stated in the application form.
6.3. A company that has been notified of a breach according to section 6.2 has 3 months to correct the breach, after that period the BCP Account will be closed permanently.
6.4. All BCCUs in a permanently closed BCP Account will be forfeited.
6.5. To the extent permitted by the applicable law, BCI’s maximum liability to a company under these Terms and Conditions, whether in contract, tort, or otherwise (including any liability for any negligent act or omission) for damages, howsoever arising, shall be limited in the aggregate (whether the liability arises out of only one or more than one separate incident) to an amount equal to the fees for the BCP Access that the company pays for in respect of the relevant validity period of the BCP Access in which the damages occur.
7. Applicable Law and Jurisdiction
7.1. The present contract (including these Terms and Conditions) shall in all respects be exclusively governed by, construed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland, under complete exclusion of its conflict of laws provisions and of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods of April 1980.
7.2. Any dispute, controversy, or claim arising out of, or in relation to, the present contract (including these Terms and Conditions), including the validity, invalidity, breach, or termination thereof, shall be resolved by arbitration administered by the Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution in accordance with the Swiss Rules of International Arbitration of the Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution in force on the date on which the Notice of Arbitration is submitted in accordance with these Rules. The number of arbitrators shall be one. The seat of the arbitration shall be Geneva, Switzerland. The arbitral proceedings shall be conducted in English.