The University of Pennsylvania has implemented a policy requiring companies wishing to sell branded merchandise made in Bangladesh under a Penn State license to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.

University officials said their decision came after meeting with student groups and following events in Bangladesh last year.

"We agree with our students that our licensees who are sourcing collegiate apparel in Bangladesh must sign the accord and participate in its activities," said Penn State President Rodney Erickson.

"We believe this is the most effective means for University licensees to protect the lives and safety of workers in that country."

Failure to sign the accord will result in the termination or non-renewal of the license agreement, the university said.

The Accord was implemented following the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building in April, which killed more than 1,100 people. It establishes a fire and building safety programme by which manufacturers and retailers must abide to improve working conditions. To date, over 100 companies have signed up.