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Proposed Changes to Textile Labeling Rules Include Fiber Content Disclosures

Friday, May 03, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Federal Trade Commission is accepting comments through July 8 on a proposed rule that aims to clarify and update the Textile Labeling Rules and make them more flexible, giving businesses more compliance options without imposing significant new obligations. The Textile Rules require that certain textiles sold in the U.S. 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. 

Among the proposed changes are the following.

- amending the fiber content disclosures by (a) incorporating the updated ISO standard 2076:2010(E) establishing generic fiber names for manufactured fibers, (b) expressly stating that trim is generally exempt from fiber content disclosure requirements, (c) allowing certain hang-tags to disclose fiber names and trademarks and performance information without disclosing the product’s full fiber content, (d) clarifying a provision describing products containing virgin or new wool, and (e) stating that the use of a fiber trademark or generic fiber name in an advertisement will require a full disclosure of the required fiber content information at least once in the advertisement

- to reflect the FTC’s longstanding policy of ensuring the consistency of the Textile Rules and the customs regulations, stating that an imported product’s country of origin as determined under the laws and regulations enforced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the country where the product was processed or manufactured

- amending the definition of the terms invoice and invoice or other paper, andstating explicitly that such documents can be issued electronically, to better address electronic commerce

- replacing the requirement that suppliers provide a guaranty signed under penalty of perjury with a requirement that they (a) guaranty that all textile fiber products that are now being sold or may in the future be sold or delivered to the buyer are not, and will not be, misbranded nor falsely nor deceptively advertised or invoiced, (b) acknowledge that furnishing a false guaranty is an unlawful unfair and deceptive act or practice pursuant to the Federal Trade Commission Act, and (c) certify that they will actively monitor and ensure compliance with the Textile Act and Rules during the duration of the guaranty

- providing that guaranties are effective for one year instead of until revoked

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