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Code of Ethics

Our DSA and its member companies pledge to adopt a Code of Ethics based on the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations. The WFDSA World Codes of Conduct are the cornerstone of the global direct selling industry's commitment to ethical business practices and consumer service. WFDSA World Codes of Conduct is divided into three sections -

(1) Conduct towards Consumers
(2) Conduct between Companies and Direct Sellers
(3) Conduct between Companies

WFDSA Code of Conduct नेपालीमा

Table of Contents

PREFACE
GENERAL
          Scope
          Glossary of Terms
          Companies
          Direct Sellers
          Self-Regulation
          Local Regulation
          Extraterritorial Effect
CONDUCT FOR THE PROTECTION OF CONSUMERS
          Prohibited Practices
          Identification
          Explanation and Demonstration
          Order Form
          Literature
          Testimonial
          Comparison and Denigration
          Cooling-Off and Returning of Goods
          Respect of Privacy
          Fairness
          Referral Selling
          Delivery
CONDUCT TOWARDS DIRECT SELLERS
          Direct Sellers’ Compliance
          Recruiting
          Business Information
          Remuneration and Accounts
          Earnings Claims
          Relationship
          Fees
          Termination
          Inventory
          Other Materials
          Direct Seller Training
CONDUCT BETWEEN COMPANIES
          Interaction
          Enticement
          Denigration
CODE ENFORCEMENT
          Companies’ Responsibilities
          Code Administrator
          Remedies
          Complaint Handling
          Publication
EXPLANATORY PROVISIONS
CODE OF CONDUCT COMPLAINT HANDLING PROCEDURE

          How to File a Code Complaint




PREFACE
This Code contains guidance on the interaction between:
1. DSA member Companies and their existing and prospective sales representatives;
2. DSA member Companies and their sales representatives and Consumers of the Company’s Products;
3. Member Companies as they compete in the marketplace; and
4. Individual Complainants, the DSA Code Administrator, and DSA member Companies.

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1. GENERAL

1.1 Scope
The Code contains sections entitled “Conduct For the Protection of Consumers,” “Conduct Between Companies and Direct Sellers,” and “Conduct Between Companies.” These three sections address the varying interactions across the spectrum of direct sales. The Code is signed to assist in the satisfaction and protection of Consumers, establish industry standards within the framework of free enterprise and enhance the public image of Direct Selling. TOP

1.2 Glossary of Terms
For the purposes of the Code, capitalized terms have the following meaning:

Code Administrator:
The independent person or body appointed by DSA to monitor a Company’s compliance with the Code and to resolve complaints under the Code.

Company:
A business entity that (i) utilizes a Direct Selling distribution system to market its Products, and (ii) is a member of DSA.

Consumer:
Any person who purchases and consumes Products from a Direct Seller or a Company.

Direct Seller:
A person or entity that is entitled to buy and/or sell the Products of a Company and that may be entitled to recruit other Direct Sellers. Direct Sellers generally market consumer products directly to Consumers away from a permanent, fixed retail location, usually through the explanation or demonstration of products and services. A Direct Seller may be an independent commercial agent, independent contractor, independent dealer or distributor, employed or self-employed representative, or any other similar sales representative of a Company.

Order Form:
A printed or written document confirming details of a Consumer order and providing a sales receipt to the Consumer. In the case of Internet purchases, a form containing all terms of the offer and purchase provided in a printable or downloadable format.

Product:
Tangible and intangible consumer goods and services.

Recruiting:
Any activity conducted for the purpose of assisting a person to become a Direct Seller.

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1.3 Companies
Companies pledge to adopt and enforce a code of conduct that incorporates the substance of the provisions of this Code as a condition of admission and continuing membership in the DSA. Companies also pledge to publicize this Code, its general terms as they apply to Consumers and Direct Sellers, and information about where Consumers and Direct Sellers may obtain a copy of this Code. TOP

1.4 Direct Sellers
Direct Sellers are not bound directly by this Code, but, as a condition of membership in the Company’s distribution system, shall be required by the Company with whom they are affiliated to adhere to rules of conduct meeting the standards of this Code. TOP

1.5 Self-Regulation
This Code is not law, but its obligations require a level of ethical behavior from Companies and Direct Sellers which conforms with or exceeds applicable legal requirements. Non-observance of this Code does not create any civil law responsibility or liability. With termination of its membership in DSA, a Company is no longer bound by this Code. However, the provisions of this Code remain applicable to events or transactions that occurred during the time a Company was a member of DSA. TOP

1.6 Local Regulations
Companies and Direct Sellers must comply with all requirements of law in any country in which they do business. Therefore, this Code does not restate all legal obligations; compliance by Companies and Direct Sellers with laws that pertain to Direct Selling is a condition of acceptance by or continuing membership in DSA. TOP

1.7 Extraterritorial Effect
Every national DSA pledges that it will require each member as a condition to admission and continuing membership in the DSA to comply with the WFDSA World Codes of Conduct for Direct Selling with regard to direct selling activities outside of its home country, unless those activities are under the jurisdiction of Codes of Conduct of another country’s DSA to which the member also belongs. TOP


2. CONDUCT FOR THE PROTECTION OF CONSUMERS

2.1 Prohibited Practices
Direct Sellers shall not use misleading, deceptive or unfair sales practices. TOP

2.2 Identification
At the initiation of a sales presentation, Direct Sellers shall, without request, truthfully and clearly identify themselves; the identity of their Company; the nature of their Products; and the purpose of their solicitation to the prospective Consumer. TOP

2.3 Explanation and Demonstration
Direct Sellers shall offer Consumers accurate and complete Product explanations and demonstrations regarding price and, if applicable, credit terms; terms of payment; a cooling-off period, including return policies; terms of guarantee; after-sales service; and delivery dates. Direct Sellers shall give accurate and understandable answers to all questions from Consumers. To the extent claims are made with respect to product efficacy, Direct Sellers shall make only those verbal or written product claims that are authorized by the Company. TOP

2.4 Order Form
A written Order Form shall be delivered or made available to the Consumer at or prior to the time of the initial sale. In the case of a sale made via mail, telephone, the Internet, or similar non face-to-face means, a copy of the Order Form shall have been previously provided, or shall be included in the initial order, or shall be provided in printable or downloadable form via the Internet. The Order Form shall identify the Company and the Direct Seller and contain the full name, permanent address and telephone number of the Company or the Direct Seller, and all material terms of the sale. Terms of a guarantee or a warranty; details and limitation of after-sales service; the name and address of the guarantor; the duration of the guarantee; and the remedial action available to the Consumer shall be set out clearly in the Order Form or other accompanying literature provided with the Product. All terms shall be clear and legible. TOP

2.5 Literature
Promotional literature, advertisements and mailings shall not contain Product descriptions, claims, photos or illustrations that are deceptive or misleading. Promotional literature shall contain the name and address or telephone number of the Company and may include the telephone number of the Direct Seller. TOP

2.6 Testimonials
Companies and Direct Sellers shall not use any testimonial or endorsement that is unauthorized untrue, obsolete
or otherwise inapplicable, unrelated to the offer or used in any way likely to mislead the Consumer. TOP

2.7 Comparison and Denigration
Companies and Direct Sellers shall not use comparisons which are misleading. Points of comparison shall be based on facts which can be substantiated. Companies and Direct Sellers shall not unfairly denigrate any Company, business or Product, directly or by implication. Companies and Direct Sellers shall not take unfair advantage of the goodwill attached to the trade name and symbol of another Company, business or Product. TOP

2.8 Cooling-off and Return of Goods
Whether or not it is a legal requirement, Companies and Direct Sellers shall offer a cooling-off period permitting the customer to withdraw from the order within a specified, reasonable period of time. The cooling-off period shall be clearly stated. Companies and Direct Sellers offering a right of return, whether conditioned upon certain events or whether unconditioned, shall provide it in writing. TOP

2.9 Respect of Privacy
Direct Sellers shall make personal or telephone contact with Consumers only in a reasonable manner and during reasonable hours to avoid intrusiveness. A Direct Seller shall discontinue a demonstration or sales presentation immediately upon the request of the Consumer. Direct Sellers and Companies shall take appropriate steps to ensure the protection of all private information provided by a Consumer, a potential Consumer, or a Direct Seller. TOP

2.10 Fairness
Direct Sellers shall respect the lack of commercial experience of Consumers. Direct Sellers shall not abuse the trust of individual consumers, or exploit a Consumer’s age, illness, lack of understanding or unfamiliarity with a language. TOP

2.11 Referral Selling
Companies and Direct Sellers shall not induce a person to purchase goods or services based upon the representation that a Consumer can reduce or recover the purchase price by referring prospective customers to the Direct Sellers for similar purchases, if such reductions or recovery are contingent upon some uncertain, future event. TOP

2.12 Delivery
Companies and Direct Sellers shall fulfill Consumer orders in a timely manner. TOP


3. CONDUCT TOWARD DIRECT SELLERS

3.1 Direct Sellers’ Compliance
Companies shall require their Direct Sellers, as a condition of membership in the Company’s distribution system, to comply with the standards of this Code. TOP

3.2 Recruiting
Companies shall not use misleading, deceptive or unfair recruiting practices in their interaction with prospective or existing Direct Sellers. TOP

3.3 Business Information
Information provided by Companies to prospective or existing Direct Sellers concerning the opportunity and related rights and obligations shall be accurate and complete. Companies shall not make any factual representation to a prospective Direct Seller that cannot be verified or make any promise that cannot be fulfilled. Companies shall not present the advantages of the selling opportunity to any prospective recruit in a false or deceptive manner. TOP

3.4 Remuneration and Accounts
Companies shall provide Direct sellers with periodic accounts concerning, as applicable, sales, purchases, details of earnings, commissions, bonuses, discounts, deliveries, cancellations and other relevant data, in accordance with the company’s arrangement with the Direct Sellers. All monies due shall be paid and any withholdings made in a commercially reasonable manner. TOP

3.5 Earnings Claims
Companies and Direct Sellers shall not misrepresent the actual or potential sales or earnings of their Direct Sellers. Any earnings or sales representations made shall be based upon documented facts. TOP

3.6 Relationship
Companies shall provide to their Direct Sellers either a written agreement to be signed by both the Company and the Direct Seller or a written statement, containing all essential details of the relationship between the Direct Seller and the Company. Companies shall inform their Direct Sellers of their legal obligations, including any applicable licenses, registrations and taxes. TOP

3.7 Fees
Companies and Direct Sellers shall not require Direct Sellers or prospective Direct Sellers to assume unreasonably high entrance fees, training fees, franchise fees, fees for promotional materials or other fees related solely to the right to participate in the company’s distribution system. Any fees charged to become a Direct Seller shall relate directly to the value of materials, products or services provided in return. TOP

3.8 Termination
If requested upon termination of a Direct Seller’s relationship with a Company, Companies shall buy back any unsold, re-saleable Product inventory, promotional material, sales aids and kits, purchased within the previous twelve months and refund the Direct Seller’s original cost, less a handling charge to the Direct Seller of up to 10% of the net purchase price. The Company may also deduct the cost of any benefit received by the Direct Seller based on the original purchase of the returned goods. TOP

3.9 Inventory
Companies shall not require or encourage Direct Sellers to purchase Product inventory in unreasonably large amounts. Companies shall take reasonable steps to ensure that Direct Sellers who are receiving compensation for downline sales volume are either consuming or reselling the Products they purchase in order to qualify to receive compensation. TOP

3.10 Other Materials
Companies shall prohibit Direct Sellers from marketing or requiring the purchase by others of any materials that are inconsistent with Company policies and procedures. Direct Sellers who sell company approved promotional or training literature, whether in hard copy or electronic form, shall (i) utilize only materials that comply with the same standards to which the Company adheres, (ii) refrain from making the purchase of such sales aids a requirement of downline Direct Sellers, (iii) provide sales aids at a reasonable and fair price, equivalent to similar material available generally in the marketplace, and (iv) offer a written return policy that is the same as the return policy of the Company the Direct Seller represents. Companies shall take diligent, reasonable steps to ensure that sales aids produced by Direct Sellers comply with the provisions of this Code and are not misleading or deceptive. TOP

3.11 Direct Seller Training
Companies shall provide adequate training to enable Direct Sellers to operate ethically. TOP


4. CONDUCT BETWEEN COMPANIES

4.1 Interaction
Member Companies of DSA shall conduct their activities in the spirit of fair competition towards other members. TOP

4.2 Enticement
Companies and Direct Sellers shall not systematically entice or solicit Direct Sellers of another Company. TOP

4.3 Denigration
Companies shall not unfairly denigrate nor allow their Direct Sellers to unfairly denigrate another Company’s Products, its sales and marketing plan or any other feature of another Company. TOP


5. CODE ENFORCEMENT

5.1 Companies’ Responsibilities
The primary responsibility for compliance of the Company and its Direct Sellers with the Code shall rest with each Company. In case of any breach of this Code, Companies shall make every reasonable effort to satisfy the complainant. TOP

5.2 Code Administrator
DSA shall appoint an independent person or body as Code Administrator. The Code Administrator shall monitor Companies’ observance of this Code by appropriate actions and shall be responsible for complaint handling and a set of rules outlining the process of complaint resolution. The Code Administrator shall settle any unresolved complaints of Consumers based on breaches of this Code. TOP

5.3 Remedies
The Code Administrator may require the cancellation of orders, return of Products purchased, refund of payments or other appropriate actions, including warnings to Direct Sellers or Companies, cancellation or termination of Direct Sellers’ contracts or other relationships with the Company, and warnings to Companies. TOP

5.4 Complaint Handling
DSA and the Code Administrator shall establish, publicize and implement complaint handling procedures to ensure prompt resolution of all complaints. Companies shall also establish, publicize and implement complaint handling procedures under their individual complaint handling processes to ensure prompt resolution of all complaints. TOP

5.5 Publication
All Companies are required to publicize DSA’s Code of Ethics to their Direct Sellers and consumers. TOP


EXPLANATORY PROVISIONS

1.4 Direct Sellers
While “distance communications” (e.g. internet sales) are generally not considered “direct selling,” subsequent or repetitive transactions engaged in by a direct seller are meant to be covered by the Code, regardless of whether they arte distance selling. TOP

1.7 Extraterritorial Effect
This provision is intended to promote uniformity of ethical business practices, standards and behavior on a global basis. Should a Company choose not to be a member of another country’s DSA, membership in this DSA will guarantee that some standard will apply in the other jurisdiction.
When engaging in Direct Selling activities outside of this country, each Company agrees to comply with the provisions of the Code of the other country’s DSA (if a member).
It is envisioned that if a Company is not a member of the other Country’s DSA, the Company agrees to comply with the provisions of the DSA Code in which the Company is headquartered (if a member of that country DSA).
If the Company is not a member of the DSA in which it is headquartered, the Company agrees to comply with the provisions of this Code or any DSA country Code to which it belongs. TOP

2.8 Cooling-off and Return of Goods
The DSA Code Administrator has the authority to make a determination of what is a deceptive, unlawful or unethical consumer or recruiting practice under the Code using prevailing legal standards as a guide. Compliance with any particular law, regulation or DSA Code of Ethics provision is not a defense to such a determination by the DSA Code Administrator that a practice is deceptive, unlawful or unethical. For example, in a sale to a consumer, compliance with the law does not bar the DSA Code Administrator from making a determination that a particular sales practice is deceptive, unlawful or unethical and that a refund or compensation is required. TOP

3.6 Relationship
The term “written agreement” includes documents provided electronically, so long as those documents are printable or in downloadable form via the Internet. TOP

3.9 Inventory
This section is not meant to create additional administrative burden on those Companies that do not require and do not encourage inventory purchase in any amount, but have a business model where the Direct Sellers purchase Products only after they have received Consumer orders
for Products.
The following should be taken into account when determining the appropriate amount of Product inventory: the relationship of inventory to realistic sales possibilities, the nature of competitiveness of the Products and the market environment, and the Company’s Product return and refund policies. TOP

3.11 Direct Seller Training
Ethics training may be accomplished through in-person training sessions, online training sessions, written manuals or guides, or audio-visual materials.
It is anticipated that Companies shall endeavor to provide ethics training at no or little cost. In any case, Companies should not use ethics training programs as profit centers. It is recognized that ethics training may be provided as part of a broader training regimen, which may have some cost. TOP


CODE OF CONDUCT COMPLAINT HANDLING PROCEDURE

HOW TO FILE A CODE COMPLAINT
If you have a complaint against a Direct Selling Association (DSA) member company (or an individual direct seller representing a direct selling company) that is a member of a DSA, you can file a complaint. The complaint can be in response to any business practice you believe is a possible violation of the DSA Code of Conduct [http://wfdsa.org/world_codes/].

Here are the steps you should follow:

1. First, try to resolve the matter directly with the individual(s) or the company involved. Your complaint should be in writing, and should include the following information:

  • The date and details of the incident
  • The parties involved
  • The section of the Code of Ethics that you believe has been violatedA description of the efforts you have made to resolvethe matter
  • The cost of the product involved, if relevant, including invoices or other supporting documents
  • A description of the actions the other parties have made to resolve the matter
  • The current status of the complaint
  • The remedy you believe should be applied
  • Please provide sufficient time for the company or individual(s) to respond to your written complaint. Usually, 30 days is suggested.
2. If, after completing step 1 (above) the situation is not satisfactorily resolved, contact the DSA Code Administrator in the country where the alleged violation occurred. You should provide the DSA Code Administrator with the same information identified in step 1 (above). Every DSA has a Code Administrator that administers its Code of Conduct [http://wfdsa.org/world_codes/]

3. If your complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction after completing step 1 and 2 (above), you should send the complete history of your complaint, including responses from both the company and the local DSA to WFDSA at: info@wfdsa.org. WFDSA will contact the local DSA Code Administrator and the local DSA to gain an understanding of why the complaint has not been resolved.

4. The WFDSA Code provides extra-territorial effect. This means that you can still be protected, and file a complaint even thought there may not be a DSA in your country or the company in question is not a member of your country’s DSA but belongs to the DSA of its headquarters.

Here are the steps you should follow:
  • Find out where the company is headquartered
  • Find out if the company is the member of the DSA where it is headquartered [http://wfdsa.org/membership_directory/]
  • Send the complete history of your complaint to that DSA Code Administrator as outlined in step 1 (above) [http://wfdsa.org/world_codes/].
  • If the company is not a member of the country’s DSA where the violation occurred and is not a member of the DSA where it is headquartered, you should lodge a complaint with the government or consumer agency.

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