Business to Business (B2B) operators who buy and sell GOTS Goods, but do not alter the product or labelling in any manner are considered traders. B2B trade is prevalent in the textile industry for products within the supply chain (for yarns, fabrics, etc.), as well as for final packed products ready to be sold to end consumers.
Agents and buying offices that are only ‘facilitating’ the sale of goods are not considered traders. Businesses that are exclusively selling to the end consumer are known as retailers.
Elements of Inspection
Traders having a turnover of more than 20.000 Euro per year from GOTS Goods must become certified. Legal ownership of the goods is considered the decisive factor regardless of whether the goods are physically received or not.
Traders that are not obliged to become certified, because their annual turnover with GOTS Goods is less than 20.000 Euro, must register with an Approved Certifier. In this context, the certified status of their supplier and the correct labelling of the GOTS Goods (with licence number and certifier's reference of the supplier) should be verified. As soon as their turnover exceeds 20.000 Euro, they shall inform the Approved Certifier and are under obligation of certification.
Retailers do not need to become certified but may voluntarily choose to become certified. They shall get their own licence number, which can be used uniformly for all product groups, irrespective of the supplier’s licence number. Besides, they will be visible to their customers on the Certified Suppliers Database. Furthermore, some relaxations are available for retail groups for Transaction Certificates.
Volume reconciliation and Transaction Certificates remain the most important verification step in terms of inspection. It is important to note that even though the number of pieces take centre stage at the trading / retail steps, Transaction Certificate (TCs) still use the weight of the product as the primary indicator for volume reconciliation. Information about the quantity of pieces and the product description is included in the TCs.
Some parameters applicable to all processing stages under GOTS certification are equally applicable to trading, like:
- Social Criteria
- Ethical Business Behaviour
- Environmental Management