FTC Announces Changes to Textile Labeling Rules

The FTC Announces Changes to Textile Labeling Rules, addressing fiber content and country-of-origin disclosures.FTC Label Changes

The Rules implement the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act, which requires that certain textiles sold in the United States carry labels disclosing the generic names and percentages by weight of the fibers in the product, the manufacturer or marketer name, and the country where the product was processed or manufactured.

In May 2013, the FTC proposed changes to the Rules and sought public comment. Based on comments received, the agency proposed amendments to the Rules and sought public comments. After weighing the comments it received, the Commission approved the changes announced today, including amendments that would:

  • incorporate the updated International Organization for Standardization standard establishing generic fiber names for manufactured fibers;
  • allow certain hang-tags disclosing fiber names and trademarks, and performance information, without the need to disclose the product’s full fiber content;
  • clarify that an imported product’s country of origin is the country where it was processed or manufactured, as determined under laws and regulations enforced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection;
  • better address electronic commerce with revised definitions of “invoice” and “invoice or other paper,”
  • replace the requirement that guarantors sign continuing guarantees under penalty of perjury with a requirement that they acknowledge that providing a false guaranty is unlawful, and certify that they will actively monitor and ensure compliance with the applicable law; and
  • clarify the provision identifying textile fiber product categories and products that are exempt from the Act’s requirements.

Based on the comments received, the Commission decided not to adopt its proposal to make continuing guaranties effective for one year unless revoked earlier. Thus, continuing guaranties filed with the Commission will remain effective until revoked.

The Commission vote to publish the Federal Register Notice amending the Rules and Regulations under the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act was 4-0. It will be published in the Federal Register soon. The amended Rules will become effective 30 days after the Federal Register Notice is posted.

Unsure how this might impact your product or future product development? Contact us today to see how we can help. or 866-873-7335 ext. 101

FTC to host Care Labeling Rule roundtable

Care-LabelingThe Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will host a public round table to discuss proposed revisions to its Care Labeling Rule on October 1, 2013 in Washington, DC.

The Rule requires manufacturers and importers to attach labels with care instructions for dry cleaning washing, bleaching, drying and ironing of garments and certain piece goods.

The round table will focus on the following:

  • a proposal to allow manufacturers and importers to include professional instructions for wet cleaning – an environmentally friendly alternative to dry cleaning – on labels if the garment can be professionally wet cleaned and on whether the FTC should require a wet cleaning instruction for such garments
  • discussion on the differences between the care symbols of ASTM International and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), whether labels should identify ISO symbols as such if used to comply with the Rule, the change in the meaning of the circle P symbol in the ASTM system, and consumer understanding of symbols.
  • how to clarify what constitutes a reasonable basis for care instructions.

The round table will be held on October 1, 2013, from 9:15-3:45, in the FTC’s Satellite Building Conference Center at 601 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.

Requests to participate as a panelist must be received by September 3,  2013. Written comments regarding the agenda topics, the issues discussed by the panelists at the round table, or the issues raised in comments received in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking must be received by October 15, 2013.

Do you have questions about the Care Labeling Rule or need help with labeling  related issues regarding product or packaging?

Jacoby Solutions provides consulting services for compliance related issues.

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New FTC Policy Statement on Labeling

The FTC has announced a new enforcement policy statement designed to put retailers who import textile products on the same footing as those who source textiles domestically or from US importers.

The Textile, Wool and Fur Labeling Acts require that garments be labeled with the fiber content, country of origin if imported and other requirements. The Acts allow for retailers to receive in good faith continuing or separate guarantees from foreign or domestic manufacturers assuring that the products are correctly labeled or promoted. Such guarantees give the retailers a “safe harbor” from the liability of false advertising.

Now the FTC has said it will not enforce against a retailer that directly imports such products unless they “knew or should have known” that the products were incorrectly labeled or promoted.  There are some limits — a retailer will still be liable for products it markets as private label.

Also if the retailer embellishes or misrepresents information provided by the manufacturer in its advertising, liability will also attach.  Of course, retailers may still want to obtain some type of written assurance from foreign suppliers, both for contractual purposes and also for use in potentially deflecting any argument that they “should have known” that the product was improperly labeled or marketed.

These acts are not subject to frequent enforcement but they do subject retailers to significant and expensive compliance obligations. This policy statement is a meaningful step forward to recognition of the global marketplace.


Is your company compliant? Need help in deciphering the law as it pertains to you? Jacoby Solutions can review your companies compliance plan and help you tailor your business operations to ensure you comply.  Contact us to get started today!

Bill Jacoby is the founder principal at Jacoby Solutions and developed the CORE Audit (Compliance Operations Readiness Engagement Audit), the company’s proprietary approach to business operations readiness A one-stop shop for manufacturing and distribution companies in need of a solutions partner who can help them evolve their business while keeping an eye on compliance, Jacoby Solutions saves companies time, money and resources while helping them become CPSIA ready.