The US FTC has published a draft proposal of rulemaking relating to the requirements for using ‘Made in USA’ claims on packaging and marketing materials.
Online PR News – 19-September-2020 – Geneva, Switzerland – On June 22, 2020, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) to define the requirements for making ‘Made in USA’ claims on packaging and marketing materials.
In the proposal, ‘Made in USA’ is defined as:
“Any unqualified representation, express or implied, that a product or service, or a specified component thereof, is of U.S. origin, including, but not limited to, a representation that such product or service is ‘made,’ ‘manufactured,’ ‘built,’ ‘produced,’ ‘created,’ or ‘crafted’ in the United States or in America, or any other unqualified US-origin claim.”
The NPR also explicitly covers unqualified ‘Made in USA’ claims that appear in seals, marks, tags, or stamps in mail order catalogs or mail order promotional materials, defined in the proposed rule as:
“Any materials, used in the direct sale or direct offering for sale of any product or service, that are disseminated in print or by electronic means, and that solicit the purchase of such product or service by mail, telephone, electronic mail, or some other method without examining the actual product purchased.”
Currently, most products are not required to make a ‘Made in USA’ claim. Exceptions include automobiles and items made from textiles or wool. Businesses can make the claim and, if they do so, they should ensure it complies with the FTC Made in USA standard.
Under the new rule the FTC is being tasked with enforcing FTC Section 5 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a), which prohibits the use of unfair or deceptive acts or practices in commerce.
Meeting the criteria: products must meet all three statements.
• Final assembly or processing of the product occurs in the United States
• All significant processing that goes into the product occurs in the United States
• All or virtually all ingredients or components of the product are made and sourced in the United States
Stakeholders should be aware the proposed Rule would not be subject to pre-emption by any existing federal or state statutes or regulations relating to country-of-origin labels. The only exceptions are where such laws or regulations are inconsistent with the Rule. They should also be aware state rules that offer greater protection than those in the NPR will not be considered inconsistent.
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