Section I

Art.1. (1) This code lays out the principles of professional ethics, equal standing and loyal competition in the market behaviour of each member of the Association of the Recyclers and Traders of Second Hand Clothes, hereinafter referred to in brief as the “Association”.
(2) The rules of this code result from the understanding that the activities of the member-companies, carrying out commercial activities with used clothes and textile materials, including their preparation for reuse in sorting centres:
1. have evident social and economic importance;
2. are subject to public and state control;
3. require high level of responsibility by the traders concerning their behaviour with each other, and on the market, as well as in their relations with government and public authorities and organizations.
(3) The Ethical Code has the goal to establish conditions for strengthening the prestige of the Association as a voluntary branch organization of companies, which:
1. observe the laws operating in this country;
2. shall be loyal to their partners, while not affecting their own company interests;
3. shall guarantee the quality and safety of the offered products;
4. shall not allow any unfair advertising or disloyal competition;
5. shall not allow any behaviour or misleading of the consumers.

Art. 2. The Ethical Code is based on the willingness of its signatories to work according to the good practices and ethics in carrying out their activities.

Art. 3. The Code is an integral part of the Statute of the Association.
(1) Each candidate for a member of the Association declares in the application for membership that they shall observe the Ethical Code of the Association.
(2) The norms of the Ethical Code are obligatory for all the members of the Association.

Art. 4. The observing of the Ethical Code shall be supervised by the Ethical Committee of the Association.

Section II


Art. 5. The Association members shall provide support to the Association’s leadership with high level of professionalism, impartiality and proactive involvement in the elaboration and implementation of the Association’s policy, as well as in putting into effect the decisions taken and carrying out the powers of authority of its management staff.
Art. 6. The relations between the members of the Association shall be based on the principles of respect, honesty, equal standing, mutual trust, tolerance, responsibility and ethics.

Art. 7. The members of the Association shall not use any company identification marking, which are identical or similar to those of other Association members and could lead to misleading the consumers.

Art. 8. The members of the Association shall establish between themselves relations of cooperation and mutual assistances in resolving issues that are common for the whole branch.

Art. 9. The members of the Association shall observe the laws of the Republic of Bulgaria and the European Union.

Art. 10. The members of the Association shall be governed in their actions by the principles of professional responsibility in the branch, and shall not allow any situations, leading to a conflict of interests.

Art. 11. No professional disagreement between any members of the Association may become subject of public discussions.

Art. 12. Every member of the Association shall carry out business activities and follow market behaviour that reinforce and enhance their prestige in the field, as well as the prestige of the Association.

Art. 13. No member of an Association’s management body shall have the right to use in any form their position in the Association for gaining any advantages or benefits for the enterprise led by him or her.

Section III


Art.14. The members of the Association of the Recyclers and Traders of Second Hand Clothes shall observe the legislation of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Art.15. The members of the Association shall be governed in their actions by the principles of loyal competition.

Art.16. The members of the Association shall offer high quality products, which have been processed, advertised and offered pursuant to the regulations in the Republic of Bulgaria.

Art.17. The members of the Association shall provide normal, healthy and safe work conditions to their workers and employees, while strictly performing their obligations as employers under the Labour Code.

Art. 18. Every member of the Association, based on the good commercial practices and the law, shall observe the environmentally-friendly management of the waste generated as a result of their activities in view of preserving human health and the natural environment.

Art. 19. Each member of the Association involved in processing used clothes and textile materials in sorting centres, or having shops, including such for online sale of used clothes, for which there are regulations in place from the national and European legislation in the field of waste management, is obliged to observe the following requirements:
1. to have a valid registration or license document for waste-related activities, issued by the relevant competent authorities.
2. not to accept any used clothes or textile materials, which are subject to illegal cross-border waste transportation, except in case of explicit order by a government supervising authority;
3. not to deliver any waste resulting from their activity to any persons, who do not have a valid registration or a license for waste-related activities, or they are not entitled to accept that waste according to the law;
4. not to deliver (trade with) waste, including waste from textile resulting from their activity to any physical persons for incineration or other type of uncontrolled disposal;
5. not to allow any unregulated discarding, abandoning or any other form of illegal destruction of waste resulting from their activity, nor any natural environment pollution.
6. in case the owner of a shop, including an online one, fails to sell the whole amount of goods, then that owner is obliged to find realization for the remaining amount according to the requirements of the waste management laws.

Art. 20 (1). Each member of the Association shall show zero tolerance in respect to any offenders of the law, and any unregulated activity in the sector, including addressing signals to the Ethical Committee.
(2). In case of identifying any unregulated practices or persons, whose activities are not in line with the requirements of the national legislation, the Association members, if possible, shall gather individualizing data about them and submit information to the leadership of the Association.

Section ІV.


Art.21. The Association shall have the right to provide, at request by a third party, information related to the nature of the activities of its members. That information should be provided in such a way that it should objectively reflect the activities of the respective enterprise or company, and in no form whatsoever it may give advantage to one member before another.

Art.22. Submitting any false and/or misleading information concerning both one’s own activities, and the activities of other members of the Association, is in breach of the ethical norms and shall be considered an offence subject to sanctioning.

Art.23. Each member may provide to the Association information that is of common interest for the members. Such information could be related to technological innovations, government orders and any other data concerning the interests of the members within the set limitations.

Art.25. The members of the Association are not obliged, and they cannot be required to provide information, which may represent company or trade secret.

Art.26. Each member shall notify the other members through the Association in case that he or she receives any information, which infringes the interests of the Association or its members.

Section V.


Art.27.(1) An Ethical Committee is established at the Association for the observation of the Ethical Code and resolving any arising issues.
1. The Ethical Committee shall comprise of 3 (three) to 5 /five/ members.
2. The members of the Committee shall be appointed by the Managing Board for a period of three years.
(3) The Committee shall be appointed within one month as of adopting the Ethical Code by the General Meeting of the Association.
(4) A member of the Ethical Committee may be at the same time a member of the Managing Board, however the members of the Managing Board may not constitute majority.

Art.28.(1) The Ethical Committee shall:
1. review complaints related to the observation of this Code.
2. give mandatory interpretations of the Ethical Code.
3. act as a first instance in case of disloyal conduct of an Association member;
4. establish contact with non-members of the Association and obtain information about their position in the cases, when they are a party in a disloyal conduct dispute with a member of the Association;
5. review complaints related to the observation of the Ethical Code;
6. in case of established breach of the ethical norms, propose to the Association’s Managing Board to impose a penalty upon the offending member, pursuant to the envisaged sanctions.
(2) The Ethical Committee shall adopt Regulations for its activities, which shall be endorsed at a Managing Board meeting.

Art. 29. Each concerned member may submit a complaint to the Ethical Committee.

Art.30.(1) The Ethical Committee shall review the received complaints and deliver a motivated position no later that thirty days as of the date of receiving them.
(2) The non-delivery of a position within the stipulated timeline shall be considered an implicit denial to impose a sanction.
(3) In case of established non-observance of the Statute of the Association and this Code, the Committee shall submit a proposal to the Managing Board to pass a resolution for imposing a sanction, envisaged in the Ethical Code, within 30 /thirty/ days as of being notified by the Ethical Committee.

Art. 31. In case of established groundlessness of the submitted complaint, the initiating party shall be responsible for non-observing the Ethical Code. It shall become the subject of the motivated proposal of the Managing Board.

Section VI


Art.32. The sanctions under this Code shall be imposed in view of observing the established ethical norms, exercising preventive impact on the offenders and protecting the other members.
Art.33. The following sanctions may be imposed on a member of the Association for breaching the Ethical Code norms:
1. a reprimand and publication in the Newsletter of the Association;
2. a written notification to the Association members and rendering publicity to the particular case;
3. a proposal for expelling.

Art.34 (1) The reprimand shall constitute of sending a reprimand to the member, who has not observed the norms of this Code, before the Managing Board.
(2) The reprimand shall be accompanied by a publication of the particular case in the Newsletter of the Association.

Art.35. The written notification shall be carried out with an official letter to all the members of the Association. Publicity of the case may be rendered also through a publication in the media.

Art.36. The proposal for expelling a member, who has not observed the norms of the Ethical Code, shall be sent to the Managing Board of the Association. The decision for expelling shall be taken under the procedure stipulated in the Statute of the Association.

Art.37. The decision for expelling shall be published in the Newsletter of the Association, whereupon the relevant government institutions and supervising authorities shall be notified in case that any breaches of the law have been committed.

Section VIІ.


§ 1. All the proposals for interpreting and changing this Code shall be sent in writing to the Ethical Committee.

§ 2. Any proposals for amendments and supplements to the Ethical Code, signed by at least five members of the Association, can be submitted for reviewing to the Managing Board.

§ 3. Proposals to the General Meeting for any amendments to this Code can be made only by the Managing Board of the Association.

§ 4. The Managing Board of the Association shall propose to the General Meeting the Ethical Code for adoption.

§ 5. The Ethical Code shall enter into force within one month as of its adoption by the General Meeting.