Kiwa BCS – Non-Renewal of CB Licensing

Textile Exchange’s quality assurance program supports the credible and consistent certification of preferred fibers and materials according to the criteria in our suite of standards.

Our assurance system auditing and certification processes support a network of certification bodies. These certification bodies are required to conform with our policies and procedures to conduct audits and issue certificates to assess conformity with our standards. Certification bodies must maintain accreditation by conforming with these policies and procedures. 

All certification bodies undergo assessment by an authorized accreditation body for our standards before beginning any auditing and certification work. Accreditation bodies are independent organizations that, in accordance with ISO/IEC 17011, assess certification bodies’ competency to perform certification activities with a given standard. 

In addition to the assessments by their accreditation body, certification body performance is also periodically reviewed by Textile Exchange directly. When non-conformities are identified, the certification body has a defined amount of time to correct them to maintain their licensing status to continue to offer certification services for Textile Exchange standards.  

As part of Textile Exchange’s certification body monitoring processes in 2023 and 2024, Kiwa BCS Öko-Garantie GmbH (Kiwa BCS) was found to have non-conformities with Textile Exchange’s assurance requirements. These were not corrected within the required timeframes and as a result, Textile Exchange has decided not to renew Kiwa BCS’s licensing and therefore, their ability to provide certification services for Textile Exchange standards is affected.  

Kiwa BCS’s licensing to all Textile Exchange standards has been withdrawn effective April 1, 2024. Kiwa BCS’s certified clients must now seek certification services from and transfer their certification services to another accredited certification body no later than June 30, 2024, to maintain certification as all scope certificates issued by Kiwa BCS will be considered withdrawn after that date.  

Transaction certificates previously issued by Kiwa BCS are still considered valid – unless otherwise notified by Kiwa BCS or Textile Exchange. To authenticate a transaction certificate issued by Kiwa BCS, please see the Textile Exchange transaction certificate portal

Please note that Kiwa BCS is not permitted to issue transaction certificates effective as of April 1, 2024. We recognize the burden that this creates for the clients of this certification body since they may require another audit and be subject to its additional costs.  

The Withdrawal of Certification Body Licensing procedure (ASR-112) details the requirements for certification bodies to communicate to their certification clients directly regarding how this withdrawal will impact their certification services

If you are a certified client of Kiwa BCS, you should soon receive their notification, but here some next steps and resources to assist you with the process: 

  1. Review this page of certification bodies licensed to certify to the relevant Textile Exchange standard(s) in your region and immediately contact them for quotes to become newly certified by them. In some cases, a simplified transfer audit may be possible. 
  2. Inform the chosen succeeding certification body of the circumstance and provide them a copy of this communication.  
  3. When an organization transfers between certification bodies (from the “preceding certification body” to the “succeeding certification body”, including when the transfer occurs at recertification), the succeeding certification body may issue transaction certificates for shipments from the time when the organization was certified with the preceding certification body, provided that all of the conditions of ASR-104-v3.1 Policy for Transaction Certificates, section A8.5 are met. Please contact your certification body for more information. 

While Textile Exchange is disappointed by this situation and the conditions that will impact site certifications, these circumstances reflect the integrity and consistency of our assurance system. In turn, this helps to ensure greater credibility of our standards and of the entities that offer auditing and certification services.