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ATA Code of Ethics
Membership in the American Topical Association is a privilege extended to those persons and organizations deemed worthy thereof and is not a matter of right. Membership may be maintained unless the Board of Directors determines that the conduct of a member has been such that, in the best interest of the Association, membership should be suspended or terminated.

For the guidance of its members this Code of Ethics has been duly adopted by the Board of Directors and by the authority vested in it by the Bylaws of the American Topical Association. A breach of ethics by any member reflects, directly or indirectly upon all of the members. Such a breach shall be considered conduct prejudicial to the welfare of the Association and cause for disciplinary action by the Board of Directors.

As a member of the American Topical Association:

  1. I agree to support and be governed by the Bylaws of the American Topical Association and such amendments, resolutions and policies as may be established.

  2. I agree to abide by all federal, state, and local laws relating to philatelic matters.

  3. I agree to conduct myself so as to bring no reproach or discredit to the Association, or to impair the prestige of membership therein, or to philately.

  4. I agree neither to buy nor to sell philatelic items of which the ownership is questionable, and to report promptly to the proper law enforcement agencies information on suspected stolen material.

  5. I agree to correct promptly any error I may make in any transaction.

  6. I agree to assist in the prosecution of violations, of which I have knowledge, of laws pertaining to philatelic matters, and to report promptly to the proper law enforcement agencies any such violations.

  7. I agree not knowingly to sell, trade, produce, or advertise repaired, altered or otherwise modified philatelic items unless that condition is clearly stated. I further agree not to sell, produce, or advertise counterfeit material in any form, in violation of any law.

  8. I agree to fulfill all contracts made by me, either orally or written, to make prompt payments upon delivery, and to return promptly any item that is not satisfactory.

  9. When exhibiting, I agree to display only material from my own collection or else to state clearly the contrary intent.

  10. I agree that substitution of stamps or covers, in circuits, approval selections, auction lots, etc. is dishonest and is cause for expulsion.

  11. I agree to bring known examples of irresponsible or unethical tactics to the attention of the societies in which I hold membership and embrace this code.

  12. I agree to conduct myself in accordance with accepted standards of morality and courtesy in philatelic activities not specifically cited in this code.

  13. Requests for extension of time to return purchased material while awaiting expert opinion is not an acceptable reason to hold up payment for same. Prompt refund shall be forthcoming from the seller should the material submitted for opinion be deemed other than as offered or described by the seller. Unless otherwise previously agreed, the seller shall also bear reasonable costs for obtaining the opinion if material is other than as offered or described. The buyer shall inform the seller immediately after receipt of any expert opinion. Request for extension of time must be in writing.

  14. I agree to read, understand, and be bound by the "terms of sale" conditions before submitting an auction bid or placing a philatelic order.

  15. If I should be found guilty of unethical or unlawful conduct, the record thereof may be disclosed to other philatelic societies of which I am a member.

  16. I agree that any dispute concerning philatelic transactions in which I am involved may be settled by arbitration mutually agreed upon by the parties involved.