Searching for manufacturers or product vendors in China can be a daunting task. Finding the company you want to do business with is probably the easiest task involved in the process of doing business with a product provider. The legal aspect carries some heavy weight, which makes it even more important for you to do your homework. Our friends at China Sourcing Information Center broke down exactly what you need to look for in a professional Vendor Code of Conduct from the Chinese companies whom you are buying products. Every Vendor Code of Conduct should contain and outline the following terms: Child Labor – Vendors shall not use child labor and must verify the age of their employees and have the ability to provide employee age at any time. Vendors are responsible to adhere to any and all laws and/or regulations pertaining to working hours and conditions for minors. Involuntary Labor – Vendor shall not use involuntary labor. This is defined as labor from any persons under threat or penalty for non-performance. Disciplinary Practices – Vendors must refrain from any form of physical or psychological punishment against its workers. Non-discrimination – Very similar to EOE here in the U.S. in that they must base employment of potential employees solely based on one’s ability to do the job Health and Safety – Must comply with all laws and regulations by maintaining a clean, safe and healthy workplace Environmental Protection – Vendors must ensure and maintain the protection of the environment and notifying authorities if an accident resulting from operations occurs. Wages and benefits – Must comply with any and all laws and regulations Working Hours – Working hours cannot exceed maximum allowed by laws and regulations. Freedom of Association – Vendors must respect any form of peaceful association by employees, as long as it maintains a legal and peaceful manner Legal Requirements – Must comply with all legal regulations as it applies to their business Monitoring of Compliance – Vendor must adhere to all inspections by buyer and its principals in order to ensure compliance is being met and must provide access to all employee-related records Corrective Action – The ability for the buyer and its principals to take any necessary corrective action in the event the Vendor is in violation of the Code of Conduct It is important to understand each of these terms and how each applies to the potential Chinese companies you will be working with. The Vendor Code of Conduct can and will set the precedent at the beginning of the partnership that outlines the expectations and abilities of both parties.