US FTC Announces New Requirements for the Wool Products Labeling Rule
11/19/2013

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced on 16 September 2013 (1), that they are seeking public comments on the proposed changes to the Wool Products Labeling Act of 1939 (Wool Rules).

Online PR News – 19-November-2013 – Hong Kong – The proposed rule would align the requirements of the Wool Rules and the Wool Suit Fabric Labeling Fairness and International Standards Conforming Act with the proposed amendments to the Textile Rules. Interested parties may submit comments on the proposed rule to the FTC by 25 November 2013.

Currently, the Wool 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. In January 2012, the FTC sought comment on the Rules, and is now proposing changes 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.

Changes in the Wool Products Labeling Act

- Incorporating new definitions for cashmere and very fine wools;
- Clarifying descriptions of products containing virgin or new wool;
- Allowing certain hang-tags disclosing fiber trademarks and performance even if they do not disclose the product’s full fiber content;
- Stating that an imported product’s country of origin as determined under the laws and regulations enforced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection will be the country where the product was processed or manufactured;
- Requiring guarantors to acknowledge that providing a false guaranty is unlawful and to certify that they will actively monitor and ensure compliance with the applicable law;
- Requiring continuing guaranties to be renewed annually by providing that such guaranties continue in effect for one year unless revoked earlier.

Amendments Declined by the Federal Trade Commission

- Definition of yak, guanaco, jangir, or other fibers as wool;
- Requirement of a specific testing methodology for identifying fiber or measuring fibers diameter or creating a label certification program;
- Modification of the Rules to create a de minimis wool content exception or change the Rules’ treatment of language requirements.

Reference:

(1)FTC News Release (http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2013/09/woolrules.shtm) and Proposed Rules (http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/pdf/2013-22919.pdf)

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