FTC Revises Textile Labeling Rules

Finalizing the implementation of the Textiles Fiber Products Identification Act (TFPIA), The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced the latest round of amendments to its textile labeling rules.

The new amendments primarily address disclosure regarding fiber content and country-of-origin classifications. According to a fact sheet published by the FTC, these include 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.

The TFPIA 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 publicly proposed these changes in the hopes of soliciting feedback from all interested parties. Reportedly, it received a considerable response and, after carefully reflecting on all of them, finally settled on the final language of the amendments. On the basis of the feedback, the FTC ditched a rule it had proposed to make continuing guarantees expire after one year, unless they are explicitly revoked earlier. Now, guarantees may be revoked but do not automatically expire.


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