DGM Statutes

  1. Name and Corporate Seat

    1. The association is a quality assurance association within the meaning of the principles for quality marks of the RAL in the currently valid version and bears the name “Deutsche Gütegemeinschaft Möbel e.V.”.
       
      It is listed in the registry of associations of the local court Fürth under the number 200567.
      1. The corporate seat of the quality assurance association is located in Fürth, Germany.
  2. Purpose

    1. The purpose of the quality assurance association is
      1. to ensure the quality of furniture and
      2. to mark quality-controlled products with the quality mark for furniture.
  3. Representatives

    Within the meaning of § 26 BGB (German Civil Code) the executive board consists of the first chairman and the deputy chairman, each with sole right of representation.

  4. Establishment and Design of the Quality Mark

    1. The quality assurance association bears the following quality mark:
    2. The quality mark complies with the principles for quality marks of the RAL in the currently valid version.
    3. The quality mark is registered with the German Patent Office under the number 2 069 132.
  5. Group of Beneficiaries and Terms of Usage

    1. Every furniture manufacturer who produces furniture according to the quality and testing regulations and who has been awarded the quality mark may use the quality mark for furniture.
    2. The quality mark may only be awarded if the quality committee has tested the requirements according to the quality and testing regulations as well as implementing provisions. The executive board has to notarise the awarding of the quality mark. The awarding must only depend on obligations that are aimed at compliance with these statutes for the quality mark, the quality and testing regulations and implementing provisions.
    3. Quality mark users may only use the quality mark for quality- controlled furniture. Marketing and distribution of quality-controlled furniture is to take place solely via product-specific retail trade or via adequate trade channels.
    4. Gegen den Ausschluss kann der Betroffene innerhalb von 4 Wochen nach Zustellung des Ausschlussbescheids beim Güteausschuss Beschwerde einlegen. Wird die Beschwerde verworfen, so kann der Beschwerdeführer innerhalb von 4 Wochen nach Zustellung des verwerfenden Bescheids den Rechtsweg gemäß Abschnitt 11 dieser Satzung beschreiten.
    5. Ansprüche der Gemeinschaft gegen ein ausscheidendes Mitglied werden vom Ausscheiden nicht berührt. Ein Anspruch des Ausscheidenden auf Leistungen der Gütegemeinschaft besteht nicht.

      Other possible distribution channels are consigners in the high quality segment (e.g. Otto, Neckermann) and special consigners such as Manufactum as well as self-service markets and consumer markets with year-round, product adequate specialist departments.

      Excluded as standard distribution channels are consigners of advertising material and salvors, food and drugstore discounters (e.g. Aldi, Lidl, Norma), service stations and coffee roasters (e.g.Eduscho, Tchibo) and their respective possible online distribution channels.

  6. Rights and Obligations of all Parties Concerned

    1. Rights that arise from the fact that the mark is recognized as a quality mark by RAL and registered with the German Patent Office as well as claims due to illegal use of the mark belong to the Deutsche Gütegemeinschaft Möbel e.V. as the mark bearer.
    2. The quality assurance association is obliged
      1. to monitor quality mark users to ensure compliance with the statutes for the quality mark and implementing provisions;
      2. to take appropriate action if the use of the quality mark is violated or impaired;
      3. to intervene if the quality mark is improperly used;
      4. to have the quality mark deleted at the German Patent Office if it is removed from the list of RAL quality marks; this obligation also extends to an executed registration of the quality mark abroad (IR trademark).
    3. Quality mark users are obliged
      1. to comply with the statutes for the quality mark as well as implementing provisions;
      2. to inform the quality assurance association if they are aware of any improper use of the quality mark;
      3. to contribute to the promotion of the purpose of the quality assurance association;
      4. to pay the fees and contributions determined by the quality assurance association on time.
    4. Quality mark users are responsible for the quality of their products. Any liability on the part of the quality assurance association, its executive bodies or representatives is excluded.
  7. Amendments

    The quality assurance association may only amend the statutes for the quality mark if prior written approval by RAL is given. Amendments become effective within an acceptable period of notice after having been announced by the executive board.

  1. Name, Corporate Seat and Business Year

    1. The association is a quality assurance association within the meaning of the principles for quality marks of the RAL German Institute for Quality Assurance and Marking e.V. Bonn in the currently valid version and bears the name “Deutsche Gütegemeinschaft Möbel e.V.”. It is listed in the registry of associations of the Local Court Fürth under the number 200567.
    2. The corporate seat and place of jurisdiction as well as place of fulfilment for claims based on these statutes is Fürth.
    3. The business year is the calendar year.
  2. Purpose and Task

    1. The purpose of the quality assurance association is
      1. to ensure the quality of furniture and
      2. to mark quality-controlled products with the quality mark for furniture.
    2. For that purpose it is the task of the quality assurance association
      1. to create statutes for the quality mark as well as implementing provisions.
      2. to ensure the compliance of quality mark users with the statutes for the quality mark.
      3. to oblige quality mark users to mark only quality-controlled furniture with the quality mark.
    3. The association operates for the public good; it does not primarily pursue its own commercial advantage.
  3. Membership

    1. Membership in the quality assurance association can be acquired:
      1. as full member:
        by furniture manufacturers who produce furniture according to the quality and testing regulations and ensure compliance with the quality and testing regulations or strive to achieve it.
      2. as supporting member:
        by natural or legal persons as representatives of the business community and the relevant public, especially the furniture trade and the supplier industry whose interest in quality assurance has been acknowledged by the quality assurance association and who want to support it as well as persons whose participation as experts promote the purpose of the quality assurance association.
      3. The application for membership must be submitted in writing to the administrative office of the Deutsche Gütegemeinschaft Möbel e.V. Applicants are obliged to acknowledge the statutes and adhere to its regulations.
      4. The executive board decides on the admission of applicants. In the event of rejection, the applicant may appeal to the quality committee within 4 weeks of notification of the negative decision. If the appeal is rejected, the complainant may take legal action according to paragraph 11 of these statutes within 4 weeks of notification of the rejecting decision.
  4. Rights and Obligations of all Members

    1. Members receive information, advice and assistance from the quality assurance association in all questions falling within its remit. They exercise their statutory rights in the General Assembly themselves or their rights are exercised by representatives with written authorization. Full members are entitled to acquire the quality mark for furniture.
    2. Members can only transfer their rights deriving from the membership to third parties with the permission and in the prescribed manner of the executive board.
    3. Members are obliged
      1. to support the objectives of the quality assurance association,
      2. to apply for conferment of the quality mark within 9 months after acquiring membership pursuant to paragraph 3.1.1,
      3. to comply with the entire regulations of the statutes as well as decisions made in accordance with the statutes by executive bodies,
      4. to pay the fees and contributions to the association on time.
    4. Quality mark users are responsible for the quality of their products. Any liability on the part of the quality assurance association, its executive bodies or representatives is excluded.

  5. Termination of Membership

    1. Membership shall terminate on decease, the opening of insolvency proceedings, liquidation or for legal persons through loss of legal capacity as well as through withdrawal from the association with a period of notice of at least 6 months at the end of a financial year. The notice of resignation must be addressed to the chief executive officer of the quality assurance association per registered letter.
    2. Furthermore, membership shall terminate if requirements pursuant to paragraph 3.1.1 or 3.1.2 are no longer met. The executive board determines whether membership should be terminated due to this reason. Appeals according to paragraph 3.3 in analogous application are admissible against this resolution of the executive board.
    3. In case of serious infringements of these statutes or the quality assurance regulations, or in the event that a full member does not apply for conferment of the quality mark within 9 months after acquiring membership, or an awarded quality mark is not used, or the member is more than 3 months in arrears with contributions due despite requests for payment, the executive board may decide upon the exclusion of the member concerned. Before the exclusion is decided upon, the party concerned must have the opportunity to comment within a period of 4 weeks.
    4. The party concerned may appeal against the exclusion to the quality committee within 4 weeks of notification of the exclusion. If the appeal is rejected, the complainant can take legal action according to paragraph 11 of these statutes within 4 weeks of notification of the rejecting decision.
    5. Claims of the association against departing members will not be affected by the departure. Departing members are not entitled to benefits from the quality assurance association.
  6. Executive Bodies of the Quality Assurance Association

    1. The executive bodies of the quality assurance association are
      1. the General Assembly,
      2. the executive board,
      3. the quality committee,
      4. the chief executive officer.
    2. The tasks of these bodies derive from the statutes. Acquisition or impairment of rights and duties of one of these executive bodies by another executive body without amendments to the statutes is inadmissible.
    3. Members of these executive bodies must conduct the business of the quality assurance association in an impartial manner and handle business transactions and operational processes of members that come to their attention with strict confidentiality during and after the performance of their duties.
    4. Members of the executive board and the quality committee perform their duty on an honorary basis.
  7. General Assembly

    1. An ordinary General Assembly takes place every 2 years. Apart from that, an extraordinary General Assembly can be convened any time if it is deemed necessary in the interest of the association. The meeting is called by the chief executive officer on behalf of the first chairman or the deputy chairman. Every General Assembly must be called with at least 3 week notice in writing or per Email stating the agenda.
    2. Motions from members that shall be put on the agenda must be submitted to the chief executive officer in written form at least 10 days prior to the date of the assembly and be brought to the attention of the members in due time. Motions that are hereafter not on the agenda can only be decided upon by the General Assembly if a simple majority is in favour. This does not apply to elections or motions aimed at amending these statutes along with the statutes for the quality mark, the implementing provisions or the quality and testing regulations or to terminate this association.
    3. Each General Assembly convened in the proper manner has the right to pass decisions, irrespective of the number of members present with the exception of paragraph 12.1. The invitation must explicitly state this fact.
    4. Full members have one vote in the General Assembly. Supporting members of the quality assurance association have a say; they are entitled to vote if they belong to the executive board or the quality committee. Members prevented from voting may authorise other members who are eligible to vote to represent them and vote for them; an eligible voter may represent two other eligible voters at the most.
    5. Resolutions by the General Assembly shall be passed with a simple majority of votes of beneficiaries present and those represented by written power of attorney. Tied vote during voting procedure shall count as a rejection. Amendments of the statutes and the regulations on quality assurance shall require a two-thirds majority.
    6. The General Assembly
      1. receives reports from the executive board, may negotiate them and decides upon the discharge of the executive board;
      2. elects the executive board and the quality committee;
      3. must approve annual accounts for the previous year and budgets for the following year;
      4. determines fees and contributions that must be paid to the association. Shares in the costs are only possible to fulfil or promote the statutory purpose of the association and may not exceed twice the annual contribution;
      5. elects one or more accountants for one legislative period respectively (4 years);
      6. passes resolutions on amendments of the statutes and the regulations on quality assurance;
      7. makes fundamental decisions concerning the quality and testing regulations;
      8. decides upon proposals concerning the agenda pursuant to these statutes.
      9. If necessary, members may also vote outside the General Assembly in written form if the executive board decides that this is appropriate. The written vote must be completed 4 weeks after members have received the draft resolution.
      10. The General Assembly and votes pursuant to paragraph 7.7 shall be chaired by the chairman or by a representative authorised by the chairman. Minutes of the resolutions of the General Assembly or resolutions reached by votes pursuant to paragraph 7.7 shall be prepared. These minutes must be signed by the chair of the meeting or the chair of voting procedures and by the chief executive officer to then be sent to all members.
  8. Executive Board

    1. The executive board is composed of at least 5 and maximally 9 individuals: first chairman, deputy chairman, chairman of the quality committee and 2 other members. The executive board may appoint other board members for the term of office by consensus. The executive board adopts resolutions by simple majority; in case of a tied vote the first chairman has the casting vote.
    2. Within the meaning of § 26 BGB (German Civil Code) the executive board consists of the first chairman and the deputy chairman, each with sole right of representation. They represent the association in all matters.
    3. The term of office is 4 years and lasts until the new election of the executive board; re-election is permitted.
    4. Following resignation of a member during their term of office, a new member is appointed by the executive board whose term of office lasts until the next General Assembly takes place. During the General Assembly a substitute member is appointed for the remainder of the term of office.
    5. The executive board manages all activities of the quality assurance association according to these statutes and the regulations on quality assurance.
    6. In matters concerning an executive board member’s own business or interest, this board member is excluded from the decision-making process.
  9. Quality Committee

    1. The quality committee consists of the chairman of the quality committee and two to four other committee members elected by the General Assembly. Their election presupposes that they are considered experts for carrying out committee responsibilities according to paragraph 9.4. If needed, the executive board may extend the quality committee by unanimous decision. Furthermore, the first chairman and the deputy chairman of the quality assurance association belong to the quality committee.
    2. Apart from members of the quality assurance association, experts for independent testing as well as neutral experts - possibly representatives of authorities – shall belong to the quality committee.
    3. The term of office for committee members is 4 years and lasts until the new election; re-election is permitted. Following resignation of a member during their term of office, a new committee member is appointed by the executive board whose term of office lasts until the next General Assembly takes place. During the General Assembly a substitute member is appointed for the remainder of the term of office. Following the resignation of the chairman of the committee, a new chairman is appointed by the quality committee whose term of office lasts until the next General Assembly takes place.
    4. The tasks of the quality committee are as follows:
      1. it is responsible for the preparation and development of quality and testing regulations in observance of technological progress which the General Assembly must then approve;
      2. it checks applications for the awarding of the quality mark and may either recommend the awarding to the executive board or inform the applicant of the reasons for the deferment;
      3. it is responsible for regulations on monitoring the compliance of quality mark users with the quality and testing regulations;
      4. it monitors compliance with the use of the quality mark as well as with implementing provisions;
      5. it passes resolutions on complaints which fall within its area of responsibility according to these statutes and the implementing provisions for the awarding and use of the quality mark;
      6. it supports all activities of the executive board.
      7. The quality committee may appoint preparatory working groups to carry out specific tasks; for this or for the preparation of resolutions, the quality committee may rely on the assistance and advice of specific experts.
      8. The quality committee is convened by the chief executive officer on behalf of the chairman at least one week in advance; it must be convened if the executive board or the majority of committee members deem it necessary. It constitutes a quorum if the majority of committee members are present. In urgent cases, the chairman of the committee may order the quorum of the quality committee in any case upon approval by the first chairman of the association; this must be explicitly stated in the invitation.
      9. The quality committee adopts its resolutions by a simple majority of members present; in case of a tie vote, the chairman of the committee has the casting vote. If necessary, the chairman of the committee may arrange decisions of the quality committee in writing, provided that no committee member objects. Resolutions on complaints and on the appointing of members of the executive board require the absolute majority of the committee members. Minutes are to be made of the resolutions which must then be signed by the chief executive officer.
  10. Arbitration Court

    1. Any disputes arising from these statutes or the regulations on quality assurance or the activities of the quality assurance association and its executive bodies may on agreement of the disputing parties be decided by a court of arbitration.
    2. The arbitration court is created and acts by the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure. Both parties designate one assessor each. The two assessors elect a chairperson that must be qualified to hold the position of a judge. If an agreement on the chairperson cannot be reached within 14 days after the complaining party has been informed about the designation of the second assessor, the chief executive officer on behalf of the complaining party must appeal to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry responsible for the corporate seat of the quality assurance association for designation of the chairperson. This also applies accordingly to the failure to designate an assessor within 14 days after request.
    3. The arbitration court rules on the dispute and decides which party must pay the costs of arbitration.
    4. Recourse to the courts is permitted by these provisions.
  11. Final Provisions

    1. The General Assembly may decide on the dissolution of the quality assurance association with a three-fourths majority of eligible voters present and represented if the motion was on the agenda.
    2. Liquidation will be carried out by the executive board, provided that the General Assembly does not appoint other liquidators. The General Assembly decides on the use of the remaining community assets after amortisation of liabilities in case of dissolution of the quality assurance association for the benefit of a purpose that supports the RAL idea of quality.
    3. Amendments to these statutes including editorial changes require prior written approval of RAL in order to be valid. They become effective within an acceptable period of notice after having been announced by the executive board.

 

  1. Assessment Basis

    1. The assessment basis for the quality mark is made up of the General and the respective Extra Quality and Testing Regulations for Furniture. It is amended and further developed to keep up with advances in technology.
  2. Awarding the Quality Mark

    1. The Deutsche Gütegemeinschaft Möbel e.V. awards on application the rights to use the quality mark for furniture to manufacturers of quality furniture.
    2. Applications for use of the quality mark should be made in written form to the branch office of the Deutsche Gütegemeinschaft Möbel e. V., Friedrichstraße 13–15, 90762 Fürth, Germany. A list of products which the applicant wishes to have assessed in connection with the quality mark as well as a signed copy of a legally binding note of commitment (Sample 1) should be included in the application.
    3. This application will be reviewed by the Quality Committee. A neutral testing institute will be contracted by the Quality Community to carry out the first assessment. The results of the assessment are sent in writing to the Quality Committee, the applicant and the Board of the Quality Community. On top of this, the Quality Committee may charge authorised assessors or such individuals of the test centre to carry out an inspection of production facilities. The applicant must bear the costs for this as well as the cost for the inspection of the products. The Quality Community may authorise the test centre to demand advance payment for testing costs.
    4. If testing returns a positive result, on recommendation of the Quality Committee, the Board of the Quality Community will award the applicant the quality mark. The awarding of the quality mark is registered (Sample 2). However, if the results of testing are negative, the Quality Committee will defer the application. Justification for the deferment must be made in writing.
  3. Use of the Quality Mark

    1. Quality mark users may only use the quality mark in connection with products, which conform to the General and the respective Extra Quality and Testing Regulations.
    2. The Quality Community has the sole right to manufacture the means of labelling the quality mark for all possible uses (embossed stamp, printing plate, paperboard mat, seals, rubber stamps etc.) and to forward these on to the quality mark users or to bestow manufacturing rights and to exactly define the terms of use.
    3. The Board may pass extra regulations concerning the use of the quality mark in advertising on catalogues, offers, order confirmation documents and delivery notes etc., in order to guarantee fairness of competition and prevent misuse of the quality mark.
    4. Rights for use of the quality mark end with death, opening of bankruptcy proceedings, liquidation, withdrawal or when the quality mark user declines further use of said mark after a specified date included in a declaration, written and signed by the user, to the Managing Directors of the Quality Community.
    5. If the rights for use of the quality mark are revoked by legal action, all awarded documents/ certification and all means of labelling with the quality mark are to be returned; an entitlement to re-receive said artefacts does not exist. This also applies when the right to use the quality mark is revoked by other means not stated here.
  4. Quality Control

    1. The Quality Community has the right and is obligated to ensure that the General and the respective Extra Quality and Testing Regulations are adhered to and that use of the quality mark is conducted in a legal and orderly fashion.
    2. Every quality mark user must take all necessary measures to ensure that the products, which are labelled with the quality mark, conform to the General and the respective Extra Quality and Testing Regulations. Careful records must be kept of the required internal quality control procedures. Products are subject to such controls in addition to the quality control tests initiated by the Quality Community in extent and frequency according to the terms of the General and the respective Extra Quality and Testing Regulations. The quality mark user pays for the cost of assessment and transportation.
    3. The Quality Committee will contract neutral test centres (officially recognised material test centres or similarly ranked test institutes or local specialists) to conduct external quality controls and is responsible for making the necessary agreements with these parties.
    4. Assessors authorised by the neutral test centre must be given access to the facilities of the quality mark user at any time without the need for prior notice to be given in order to carry out quality controls up to twice a year. These assessors must also be given access to the documents recording internal quality controls and be allowed to carry out a visual inspection of facilities during operational hours. Assessors have the right to select and demand products for examination and these must be supplied without delay. The assessor is entitled to dismantle finished products during inspection. If tests are carried out off-site, then the sample items must be clearly labelled by the assessor immediately upon receipt. Products of the quality mark user may also be taken from retail outlets.
    5. Testing and issuing of results are conducted independently of the organs of the Quality Community by the authorised test centres. These institutes will draw up a test report to cover each test undertaken, a copy of which will be sent to the Quality Community and the quality mark user in question. Further dissemination of test results is strictly forbidden.
    6. If a test returns negative results or if objections are raised about the products of the quality mark user, the Quality Committee will ask that the tests be repeated.
    7. The Quality Community must bear the costs for tests for which third parties have been contracted by the Quality Community in instances of unjustified objections concerning products. In cases where said objections are justified, the quality mark user must bear the test costs.
  5. Penalties for Breaches in Contract

    1. If errors in quality control are determined by the Quality Committee, the committee will recommend to the Board of the Quality Community to take punitive action. Depending on the severity of the breach in question, the Board may:
      1. issue special instruction and/or a warning to the quality mark user,
      2. order an increase in quality control measures for a certain time frame,
      3. issue a financial penalty up to a maximum of € 10.000 depending on severity of the breach in question, payable to the Quality Community,
      4. take away the user’s rights to the quality mark either for a limited time or permanently.
    2. If deviations from or breaches to the terms of the General and the respective Extra Quality and Testing Regulations are discovered during inspection of the products of the quality mark user, special instruction or a warning will be issued.

      Depending on circumstances, the latter is issued in conjunction with the ordered increase in quality control procedures and/or by the issuing of a financial penalty.

      Financial penalties must be paid to the Deutsche Gütegemeinschaft Möbel e.V. within 14 days of the penalty becoming legally effective.

    3. Rights to the use of the quality mark can be temporarily or permanently revoked, if the terms of the General and the respective Extra Quality and Testing Regulations are repeatedly breached or if the quality mark is misused or if a deliberate violation of the General and the respective Extra Quality and Testing Regulations is proven or if the user of the quality mark causes serious damage to the quality assurance through his actions or behaviour.
    4. If a member makes unauthorised use of the quality mark or allows a third party to place it on their products or allows a third party to make use of the quality mark in any other way, then a financial penalty of up to € 10.000 will be issued for each individual instance of misuse. Any legal action ensuing from such behaviour will not be affected by the issuing of said penalties.
    5. A penalty as laid out under Section 5.1 may also be issued if the quality mark user delays or hinders quality control measures as described under Section 4.
    6. The affected party must be notified before any measures are undertaken. Before usage rights are revoked from a quality mark user, the affected party must be given a 4 week long deadline to have the possibility to comment on the situation.
    7. In urgent cases, the Board of the Quality Community may revoke the right of a quality mark user to make use of the mark with immediate effect. This type of banning order must be confirmed or lifted by the Board of the Quality Community within 14 days.
    8. The duty of the Quality Community to act in instances of malpractice or misuse of the quality mark also obligates the members of the Quality Community to inform the Managing Directors of the Quality Community about breaches to the terms governing the use of the quality mark as well as any case of misuse without delay and backed up by documentary proof so that such breaches may be suitably investigated. Failure to do so may be penalised according to Section 5.1.
    9. The rights of quality mark users to make claims of compensation, by means of civil law if required, for damage directly caused by contractual breaches is not affected by these community measures to protect the quality mark.
  6. Objections

    1. A quality mark user may make an objection to the Quality Committee against the issuing of a penalty as laid out under Section 5.1 within 4 weeks after receiving the penalty notice. A decision regarding the objection must be made within 4 weeks.
      The objection has the effect of suspending penalty proceedings; however, the Quality Committee may pass an initial confirmation of a penalty notice according to Section 5.1.4 before passing the decision concerning the objection itself in cases where a serious risk of misdirection exists.
    2. If the objection is rejected then the issuer of the objection may procure a decision in accordance with Section 11 of the Articles of the Association within 4 weeks of the rejected objection being issued.
  7. Reinstatement of Usage Rights

    1. If usage rights concerning the quality mark have been revoked, at least three months must pass before said rights can be reinstated. The procedure is conducted according to Section 2. The Board of the Quality Community can however impose additional conditions.
  8. Changes

    1. These Implementing Regulations as well as samples (Note of Commitment, Award Certificates) are recognised by RAL. Changes, including those of an editorial nature, require prior written consent from RAL to be valid. They come into effect after being announced by the Board within a reasonable time frame as stated by the Board of the Quality Community.