As part of its ongoing effort to review and revise all of its rules, the Federal Trade Commission published today in the Federal Register amendments to its Rules and Regulations under the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act, the Wool Products Labeling Act, and the Fur Products Labeling Act. In general, the products covered by these statutes and regulations must be labeled as to fiber or fur content; country of origin; and manufacturer or dealer identity. The changes to the Textile and Wool Rules will streamline the disclosure requirements in the following ways:
- Simplify the requirements for placing information on labels by replacing some of the current detailed specifications with a performance standard -- that the information be clear, conspicuous, and readily accessible to the prospective purchaser;
- Eliminate a requirement that the front side of a label state "Fiber Content on Reverse Side" when the fiber is disclosed on the back of the label;
- Allow the listing of generic fiber names for fibers that have a functional significance and constitute less than five percent of the total fiber weight of the product, without requiring disclosure of the functional significance of such fibers;
- Incorporate by reference the generic fiber names and definitions for manufactured fibers recognized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). For example, in the future labels may bear the name "Viscose" for some forms of rayon or the name "Elastane" instead of "Spandex";
- Modify definitions of terms such as "mail order catalog," "mail order promotional material," and "invoice," to include those generated and disseminated electronically through the Internet or E-mail.
To help companies meet their compliance obligations, the Textile and Wool Rules now include additional examples of country-of-origin disclosures that comply with both the FTC’s and U.S. Customs Service’s origin-disclosure requirements. In addition, an amendment to the Fur Rules increases the threshold for exemption from the Rules from $20 to $150. This means that fur trim or other fur items for which the cost to the manufacturer, or the manufacturer’s selling price, does not exceed $150 will be exempt from some of the requirements of the Fur Act and Rules.
The Commission also amended the Textile, Wool, and Fur Rules to specify that a Commission-issued Registered Identification Number (RN) will be subject to cancellation if, after a change in the material information contained on the RN application, a new application that reflects current business information is not promptly submitted to the Commission. Manufacturers or other dealers may use the RN on a label instead of their names. The Commission recently added the RN database to the FTC’s World Wide Web site at: http://www.ftc.gov (no period). Industry members with RN numbers are encouraged to visit the website to check that the identifying data is current and accurate.
The Commission vote to approve the final rule was 5-0.
Copies of the rules and other documents referenced above are available from the FTC’s web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580; 202-326- 3128; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710.
Bureau of Consumer Protection
Bureau of Consumer Protection