Terms and Conditions for Factories
General Terms and Conditions for Factories
ICTI CARE Foundation Asia Ltd
Effective April 1, 2010
- ICTI CARE Foundation Asia Ltd (hereinafter "ICFAL") agrees to provide a registration period of 12 months to the factories (hereinafter the applicant) applying for ICTI CARE Process Seal of Compliance Program (in accordance with and subject to the terms and conditions herein contained (hereinafter "the Conditions").
- Documents associated with the Applicant's application such as ICTI CARE Process application form, factory audit report, corrective action plan and any other related documents of the Applicant are subjected to review by representatives of ICFAL Asia or any of the advisors designated by ICFAL The ICFAL designated advisors are professionals working in the toy industry or in the field of social compliance who have signed non- disclosure agreements with the ICFAL
- The Applicant shall pay all applicable fees as published and required by ICFAL. The payment of the fees is a necessary condition for the maintenance of applicant status. Any non-fulfillment of payment shall automatically invalidate the Applicant's status.
- Meeting the requirements of the ICTI CARE Process does not necessarily imply/equate to meeting the law of the country. The Applicant shall not use its status with the ICTI CARE Process as evidence of compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
- A senior management representative from the Applicant shall complete, sign and return the application form to ICFAL
- All fees paid to ICFAL are neither negotiable nor refundable. These fees are subject to change from time to time as necessary and at the sole discretion of ICFAL. The current and valid fee information is at all times published on the website of the ICFAL – www.icti-care.org.
- Applicants failing to meet the ICTI CARE Process standard within the twelve (12) months registration period shall be required to re-register with ICTI CARE as a new Applicant no sooner than three (3) months from the expiration of the original registration period including any extension period granted.
- ICFAL may at its own discretion issue a specific type of seal to the Applicant to reflect the audit data available. The seals include Class A, B, C or Probation, depending on the level of compliance verified. The criteria for these seals follows the terms and conditions listed in the Wages and Working Hours Guidelines and Implementation Plan available on the website of the ICFAL – www.icti-care.org
The Applicant understands and agrees that ICFAL is not obliged to provide evidence to the Applicant to justify a certain level of compliance and the Applicant agrees that the listing on the ICTI CARE Process website will reflect these different levels of certified compliance as described in Article 5.3 below.
- The Applicant's violation of the Conditions shall invalidate the validity of its contract with ICFAL and any granted Seal of Compliance shall be invalidated and recalled from the Applicant.
2.0 Quality Assurance
- ICFAL reserves the right to assign observer(s) to monitor the process during ICTI CARE audits. Observer(s) may come from any ICFAL approved organization and will have signed non-disclosure agreements with ICFAL.
- To confirm the continuous compliance to the ICTI CARE requirements, ICFAL reserves the right to assign its own auditor(s), or an ICFAL-accredited audit firm, or in some cases non-ICFAL accredited audit firms, or a combination of the above, to perform a Quality Control Audit (hereafter "QC Audit") with the Applicant. The QC Audit is unannounced. The Applicant agrees to such audit even if it may have already received an ICTI CARE Process Seal of Compliance. ICFAL shall bear the costs of the QC Audit if no critical violations are found. Where critical violations are found during the QC Audit the cost of the audits will have to be paid for by the factory audited.
3.0 Annual Audit and Progress Audit
- All audits are unannounced.
- The Applicant agrees that, after being given a Seal, unannounced progress audits to ensure implementation of the necessary improvement or maintenance of compliance level will be arranged as specified in the Wages and Working Hours Guidelines and Implementation Plan, available on the ICTI CARE Process website. The Applicant shall pay all applicable fees as required by ICFAL. The fees will be collected after issuance of the seal. The payment of the fees is a necessary condition for the maintenance of seal status. Any non- payment shall automatically invalidate the Applicant's status.
4.0 "CARE" Card, Poster, Hotline and Training
- The Applicant agrees that, within one month or no longer than 6 weeks after being given the Seal, the Applicant will distribute a physical copy of the "CARE" card (being sent to the Applicant by ICFAL electronically upon confirmation of the Seal) to all workers. There is a hotline number on the card for workers to call to make enquiries or complaints. The card should be sent to workers with no change at all and should be put on the back of the factory work card of all workers. ICFAL will also make available at cost posters of similar content and all factories with a valid seal and seeking seal renewal should put up the posters in conspicuous places in the facilities as instructed by ICFAL. Failure to distribute the "CARE" card and/or put up the posters will be regarded as a major non-compliance with the ICTI CARE Process requirement. Continued failure to distribute the card will lead to suspension of seal validity and additional audits, and may eventually lead to termination of the Seal. A training for workers to introduce the hotline and ICTI CARE Process may be required, subject to discretion of ICFAL. The Applicant agrees to pay the necessary fees for the training. Any non-payment shall automatically invalidate the Applicant's status.
- The Applicant agrees that different types of trainings may be required at the discretion of ICFAL. These may include the training to familiarize factories with the ICTI CARE Process requirements, the hotline training or other training for workers and managers, management system building or capacity building training programs to support factories to make necessary improvements. The Applicant should seek prior written consent from ICFAL and the training institute before publishing any materials about the training which contain ICFAL and the training organization's names or photos. The Applicant shall pay all relevant costs for these trainings as required by the training institute designated by ICFAL. The payment of the fees is a necessary condition for the maintenance of the seal status. Any non-fulfillment of payment shall automatically invalidate the Applicant's status.
5.0 Withdrawal of Seal
- ICFAL may terminate the Seal of Compliance Status of the Applicant and recall the ICTI Seal of Compliance at its own discretion when,
5.1.1. significant departure from or violation to the ICTI requirements by the Applicant is identified, or
5.1.2. the Applicant refuses an audit arranged by ICFAL, or
5.1.3. the finding of a QC Audit casts reasonable doubt on the compliance by the Applicant to the ICTI CARE requirements, or
5.1.4. The Applicant violates the ICTI CARE Process policy on corrupt and unethical behavior, or
5.1.5. The Applicant brings the ICTI CARE Process into dispute.
ICFAL is not obliged to justify its decision or provide evidence when a Seal of Compliance is withdrawn.
- ICFAL may impose suspension/probation of the Seal Status in cases of 4.1 when the Applicant's violation is to a less serious extent. In such cases, the Applicant shall work according to a corrective action plan which is approved by ICFAL, and participate in training program approved by ICFAL and have additional audits, in order to resume the confirmation status, and the implementation is subject to the verification by ICFAL. The Applicant is not eligible to carry a full Seal Status during the suspension/probation period. During this suspension/probation period, the Applicant shall pay all necessary fees in order to maintain the Applicant's engagement with the ICTI CARE Process. Any non-payment will result in instant termination of the Applicant status and hence the entire registration process.
- The Applicant shall ensure the accuracy and correctness of the information provided to ICFAL. Any discovery of fraudulent information shall result in instant termination of the engagement with ICFAL and withdrawal of the Seal.
- If the Applicant does not agree with the decision of ICFAL regarding the change of its seal status and has other grievances, and if these disputes cannot be settled through considerable efforts at communications with ICFAL, the Applicant is encouraged to write to the Governance Board of ICFAL to seek final resolution on the matter.
6.0 Proprietary Rights
- All rights (including but not limited to copyright) in any publication produced by ICFAL in the course of providing its services shall remain vested in ICFAL. The Applicant shall not reproduce or make copies, publish or disclose the contents of any such material or extracts thereof to any third party without ICFAL's prior written consent, which may be refused at its sole discretion.
- The Applicant shall not release any proprietary information of ICFAL which is not available in the public domain to any other party without the prior written prior consent of ICFAL TI CARE Foundation Asia. Such proprietary information shall include, but is not limited to, audit report review comments and correspondence which arises during the certification process.
- The Applicant's name with the registration number, contact details, number of workers and status within the ICTI CARE Process shall be posted on the website of the ICFAL. When significant departure from the ICTI CARE requirements is identified, and/or when ICFAL judges the Applicant to be non-compliant with the ICTI CARE Process requirements, the name of the Applicant shall be removed from the list of compliant factories or its current status changed with specific denotation or identification on the website of ICFAL.
- In cases of public exposure of the Applicant's working conditions which may affect the reputation and creditability of the ICTI CARE Process, the applicant understands and agrees that ICFAL will need to communicate the Applicant's working conditions and related information with the relevant parties without seeking prior consent from the Applicant.
- ICFAL shall not in any event be liable for any loss or damage caused by delay in performance or non- performance of any of its services.
- All contracts for provision of services by ICFAL and the Conditions shall be construed in accordance with and governed by the laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. For the purpose of any arbitral or litigation proceedings such contracts shall be deemed to have been made and performed in Hong Kong. If any provision contained in the Conditions is and/or becomes invalid, illegal or unenforceable in any respect under the laws of Hong Kong, the validity, legality and enforceability of the remaining provisions hereof shall not in any way be affected or impaired thereby
- Any dispute arising out of or relating to ICFAL shall be referred to and determined by arbitration subject to ICFAL's sole and overriding discretion to commence litigation proceedings in the courts of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region or the courts of any other country as ICFAL may choose. The parties may agree to the appointment of an arbitrator failing which either party may, after having made a written request to concur in the appointment of an arbitrator, request the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre ("HKIAC") to appoint an arbitrator. The place of arbitration shall be in Hong Kong. There shall only be one arbitrator. The language to be used in the arbitral proceedings shall be English.