FTC Seeking Public Comments In Review Of Textile Labeling Rules

The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comment on its Textile Fiber Products Identification Act. These rules require, among other things, that 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.

The Textile Fiber Products Identification Act requires marketers to attach a label to each covered textile product disclosing: (1) the generic names and percentages by weight of the fibers in the product; (2) the name under which the manufacturer or other responsible company does business or, in lieu thereof, the registered identification number ("RN number") of such company; and (3) the name of the country where the product was processed and (4) the name of the company where the product was processed and manufactured.

The FTC is seeking comments on the benefits and cost of the Textile Labeling Rules, as well as whether it should:

  • Modify the provision addressing generic fiber names so that the reference to the international standard for manufactured fibers reflects the updated standard;
  • Clarify the provisions addressing textile products containing elastic material and "trimmings";
  • Address the use of multiple languages in making required disclosures;
  • Clarify disclosure requirements applicable to written advertising, including Internet advertising;
  • Clarify or revise the list of exclusions from the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act;
  • Add or clarify definitions of terms set forth in the Rules; and
  • Modify consumer and business education materials and continue printing paper copies in these materials,

The FTC is also seeking comment on:

  • The benefits and cost of the requirement of the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act that, under certain circumstances, businesses use identification issued by the FTC;
  • The extent to which retailers obtain guarantees and continuing guarantees for textile products; and
  • Whether the extent or manner of importation indicates that the guarantee provisions of the Act and Rules should be modified.

The FTC's regulatory review program has systematically reviewed its regulations to ensure that they continue to achieve their intended goals without unduly burdening commerce. All rules and guides are scheduled to be reviewed ten years after implementation and ten years after the completion of each review. The last review of the Textile Rules was completed in 1998.

Comments must be received by January 3, 2012.

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