Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Industry Comments to the FTC Regarding the Textile Rules

On May 20, 2013, the United States Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") published a notice of proposed rulemaking and solicitation of comments regarding the Rules and Regulations Under the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act. Comments were due by July 8, 2013. The FTC received seven comment submissions.

  1. Kevin Burke, writing on behalf of the American Apparel and Footwear Association ("AAFA") in his comments stated:
    • We are extremely pleased to see the Commission has made the decision to amend section 303.7 to incorporate the revised ISO standard:ISO 2076:2010(E), “Textiles – Man-made fibres – Generic names.”
    • We are pleased the Commission staff responded to our recommendation to provide continued advice and educational materials on how to properly label products with decorative trim and ornamentation.
    • We also welcome the Commission’s decision to amend section 303.17(b) allowing manufacturers to attach hang-tags to a product without the need to include full fiber content information on the hang-tag, provided all information included on the hang-tag is truthful and non-deceptive and provided the product has a label with full fiber content information.
    • we strongly disagree with the proposal to require continuing guaranties be renewed annually.

  2. AAFA also joined in comments submitted by the American Fiber Manufactures Association ("AFMA"), United States Association of Importesof Textile and Apparel ("USA-ITA"), Canadian Apparel Federation ("CAF-FCV"), National Council of Textile Organizations ("NCTO"), Retail Industry Leaders Association ("RILA"), and National Retail Federation. The joint comments:
    • Expressed support for adoption of the updated ISO standard for man-made fiber names.
    • Commend the Commission’s decision to amend the Rules to hold hang-tags to the non-deceptive standard, rather than requiring full fiber content disclosure, provided the label on the garment discloses the fiber content by percentage.

  3. Comments submitted by the European Commission sought clarification regarding country of origin labeling and regarding continuing guaranties. The European Commission also informed the FTC of new EU textile labeling requirements.

  4. The National Retail Federation in its comments reiterated support for the clarification of the rule as it relates to hang-tags (contained in the joint comments noted above) and expressed support for proposed modifications to the rules relating to continuing guaranties.

  5. Kristina Herrmann, on behalf of online retailer, submitted comments disagreeing with the FTC's proposal to modify the rules relating to continuing guaranties.

  6. Sally Kay, on behalf of the Hosiery Association, filed comments regarding the difficulty of complying with the labeling requirements relating to decorative elements or trimmings because "consumers are always asking for more environmentally friendly products; this means products with less packaging" on which to include such information.

  7. David Trumbull, Principal of Agathon Associates, consultant in textiles and trade submitted comments, stating "I am pleased to see that the Commission has accepted the recommendations, made by the industry, to incorporate the updated ISO standard 2076:2010(E) and allow certain hang-tags that do not disclose the product's full fiber content information. These changes will facilitate both domestic manufacturing and international trade and are particularly helpful in the context of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

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