General Merchandise Compliance

General Merchandise products sold in Kroger stores are required to meet all U.S. Federal and State rules, regulations, bans and standards, as well as conform to Kroger standards for quality, safety and performance.  This website’s purpose is to help suppliers navigate Kroger General Merchandise Regulatory Compliance and Quality requirements pertaining to direct import and domestically purchased products shipping to Kroger. All suppliers are responsible to fulfill any applicable regulatory responsibility.

You may send any questions about Kroger general merchandise product safety and integrity requirements to the General Merchandise Compliance Manager at GMCompliance@kroger.com

GENERAL MERCHANDISE TESTING

Conformity to regulatory requirements and Kroger quality requirements must be verified through testing by an ISO 17025 accredited 3rd party testing laboratory. All Kroger Corporate Brand products and/or direct imported products are required to be tested according to Kroger protocols listed with the nominated testing laboratory Bureau Veritas.  The reports must be rated as PASS 4 weeks prior to shipping any purchase order to Kroger. Test reports are valid for one year.

Testing must be conducted on top of production samples. Suppliers are recommended to review Kroger protocols during product development and production to ensure the product(s) meets Kroger criteria. 

Kroger testing protocols, Test Request Form (TRF) and Bureau Veritas local contacts are available at the following link. Please contact the respective product developer or buyer at Kroger to gain access to the testing protocols. https://docushare.cps.bureauveritas.com/docushare/dsweb/View/Collection-14490

Failed test reports must be sent to GMCompliance@kroger.com for review. Upon review, suppliers may be required to submit a root cause analysis and a corrective action plan.  Failure to resolve non-compliance issues in a timely manner may result in order delay and/or order cancellation.

GENERAL CERTIFICATE OF CONFORMITY (GCC)

All products sold to Kroger should have a GCC as applicable. Imported and Kroger Corporate Brand products must have a GCC produced using the Kroger GCC template.  This certificate must be based on the passing laboratory test results. 

Bureau Veritas will generate a GCC on behalf of the supplier and Kroger for children’s products provided that the test is performed at a BV lab.  The request for a GCC must be indicated on the Test Request Form (TRF). 

All direct import suppliers are required to submit a GCC and related test reports for each shipment and each style, along with the Letter of Credit

All domestic suppliers, including corporate brand, are responsible to generate and maintain the relevant GCC and test reports for their respective products. The certificates, along with applicable test reports, must be in English and must be provided to Kroger within 24 hours of any request for documentation. 

LAW LABELS AND MANUFACTURER REGISTRATION   

There are various states in the U.S. requiring stuffed or filled products to carry a law label.  Manufactures must register with the required states. Some states require a sterilization permit number for feather, down and wool filling. Upholstered furniture has additional flammability and flame retardant label requirements in California. These steps must be completed prior to shipping any order to Kroger.  Please check with your law label service provider or individual states for requirements.

A guidance on law label and manufacturer registration has been developed to help suppliers navigate related requirements. It is the supplier’s responsibility to ensure the most updated requirements are followed.

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FOR CHEMICALS OF HIGH CONCERN TO CHILDREN

Washington State maintains a list of Chemicals of High Concern to Children (CHCC) under the Children’s Safe Product Act (CSPA).  Under the CSPA, manufacturers are required to report to the Washington Department of Ecology any CHCC chemical(s) present in their product if it is above the set threshold.  Manufactures are required to report every year if necessary.  Failure to report may lead to civil penalties and fines. 

Kroger is responsible for reporting the presence of CHCCs in Kroger Corporate Brand import products.  Kroger requires all domestic suppliers to self-govern and comply with the reporting requirements. Kroger must be notified immediately if any Kroger Corporate Brand product contains a reportable CHCC. 

Additionally, CSPA restricts lead, cadmium and phthalate in all children’s products.

A summary of CSPA is available for your quick reference. A supplier should refer to the actual law for details.  

CONFLICT MINERAL POLICY

Kroger supports the conflict mineral provision in Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Product Protection Act and has published a Conflict Mineral Policy. Kroger expects suppliers who manufacture Kroger Corporate Brand products, which may contain 3TG (gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten), to source minerals responsibly from facilities outside of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) or from facilities that have been certified to be “conflict free” if mined in the DRC.  Suppliers must perform due diligence in managing all sourcing systems. Kroger, therefore, has developed and standardized a survey questionnaire to collect required information. This survey is incorporated into the vendor registration process of the Supplier Information Management (SIM) portal. SIM system registration instruction will guide you through the registration.  All suppliers are required to respond to the survey before a purchase order is written.

PRODUCT INSPECTIONS

To conform with Kroger quality requirements, all manufactured products must go through a passing final product inspection prior to product being packaged and shipped to Kroger.  The quality audit requirements are 4.0 AQL (Acceptable Quality Limit) for minors and 2.5 AQL for majors on defects.   The paperwork requirements are listed below for the three different types of business relationships Kroger currently has.

1)      Agent – The agent must provide a final product inspection audit report from either the manufacturing factory or the agent themselves.

2)      Domestic Importer – The domestic importer must provide a final product inspection audit report from either the manufacturing factory or the domestic importer themselves.

3)      Direct Import factories – The factory must provide a final product inspection audit report from either SGS or the factory themselves.

Agents and Domestic Importers are to self-govern the final product inspection process and must ensure the products being shipped to Kroger has passed a final inspection based on the quality level required by the Kroger co.

All direct import factories must use SGS, the Kroger Company’s designated third party final product inspector, to audit the final product before packaging and shipping to Kroger.  Please see third party final product inspection standard operating procedure (SOP) for reference.  This inspection process will be required for a minimum of six months to a year depending on frequency of shipments.  At the end of said period, the supplier may request for an evaluation based on pass and failure rates to determine if the factory still requires using SGS as its auditor or if they can move onto a self-inspection program.  All audit reports should be sent to DirectGlobalSourcing@kroger.com

WERCSMART

Kroger utilizes the WERCSmart solution by Underwriters Laboratory (UL) to help us manage regulatory compliance requirements for all chemicals, aerosols, batteries, battery operated products, pesticides, over-the-counter health products, and other potentially hazardous products.  Our suppliers must carefully read Kroger WERCs Supplier letter and register affected products and formulations with WERCSmart. This requirement includes existing products sold to Kroger as well as new products. Please contact wercsinfo@kroger.com for any question. 

CHILDREN’S PRODUCT REGULATORY COMPLIANCE CHECKLIST  

The children’s product regulatory compliance checklists were developed as a screening tool to assist suppliers in identifying applicable regulations and laws for children’s products.  The applicable checklist(s) must be signed by each children’s products supplier and returned to the respective buyer or developer.   

KROGER RESOURCES

Tracking Label for Children’s Products
Kroger general merchandise tracking label format requirements are developed and all Corporate Brand suppliers are required to review and follow the requirements as specified.

Suffocation Warning Label for Plastic Bags
A guide to suffocation warning label for plastic bags is prepared to help suppliers understand Kroger requirements.

Grouping Form
Some home items may be grouped together in testing if they are like items made from the same factory and used the same manufacturing processes. Grouping form as well as SOP is available here. 

Apparel Testing Program and Process Map

This guide documents the Kroger Apparel Testing Program requirements and process.

Zipper Trims for Apparel

This guide includes examples of compliant and non-compliant zipper stops for Kroger apparel.