FTC Proposes Changes to Wool Products Labeling Rules

For Your Information

The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comment on proposed changes to its Wool Products Labeling Rules as part of its systematic review of all current FTC rules and guides.

The Wool Products Labeling Rules require that labels on wool products disclose the manufacturer’s or marketer’s name, the country where the product was processed or manufactured, and information about the fiber content. The FTC first issued the Rules under the Wool Products Labeling Act of 1939, known as the Wool Act.  The agency completed its last review of the Rules in 1998 and modified the Rules in 1998 and 2000.  In 2006, the Wool Act was amended by the Wool Suit Fabric Labeling Fairness and International Standards Conforming Act, which provides that wool products identified as cashmere or as containing very fine wools are misbranded unless  they have no more than the  average fiber diameter specified in the Act.

In January 2012, the FTC sought comment on the Rules.  In response to the comments received, the FTC proposes changes designed to clarify and update the Rules, to make them more flexible, and to align them with the Commission’s proposed amendments to the Textile Rules.  The proposed changes include incorporating the Wool Act’s new definitions for cashmere and very fine wools, clarifying descriptions of products containing virgin or new wool, and revising the Rules to allow certain hang-tags disclosing fiber trademarks and performance even if they do not disclose the product’s full fiber content.

The Commission vote approving the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was 4-0.  It is available on the FTC’s website and as a link to this press release and will be published in the Federal Register soon.  Instructions for filing comments appear in the Federal Register Notice.  Comments must be received by November 25, 2013.  All comments received will be posted at www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm.  (FTC File No. P124201; the staff contact is Robert M. Frisby, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-2098)

For more information, read Threading Your Way Through the Labeling Requirements Under the Textile and Wool Acts and Cachet of Cashmere: Complying with the Wool Products Labeling Act.

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