SAFEGUARDS | Softlines NO. 159/16
The recent news that major retailers in the U.S. have violated the Fur Products Labeling Act and the Textile Fiber Identification Act for false advertising of fur apparel and accessories has roused the industry’s attention for correct labeling on fur garments. There are U.S. federal and state laws in place which are enforced by various means such as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) have been involved in bringing attention to these laws.
NGOs have recently petitioned the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to bring enforcement action under the federal consumer protection law against several retailers for selling real fur items advertised or labeled as “faux fur”. In the U.S., sale of fur products is governed by the Fur Products Labeling Act (15 U.S.C. §69) and is regulated by the U.S. FTC. The Fur Products Labeling Act outlines the labeling requirements for fur products. Products made either entirely or partly with fur, including trim, lining and embellishments, must have a permanent label disclosing the following information, otherwise, it will be considered as misbranded or falsely or deceptively advertised or invoiced.
- Animal name (according to the Fur Products Name Guide).
- Name or Registered Identification Number (RN) of the manufacturer, importer, marketer or distributor.
- Country of origin for imported fur products.
- Whether the fur is:
- pointed, dyed, bleached, or artificially colored.
- composed in whole or substantial part of pieces (more than 10% of surface area).
- used or damaged.
The textile or wool content of the product, its country of origin and its manufacturer or dealer identity.
The Act exempts products that contain dog or cat fur. Dog or cat fur is prohibited by both the Dog and Cat Protection Act of 2000 and California criminal law.
For States’ labeling laws, there are several states including New York, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Delaware and New Jersey that have their own regulations regarding labeling of real fur and faux fur products, regardless of the dollar value of the fur item.
New York General Business Law §399-aaa – selling and manufacturing of fur-bearing articles of clothing must be accomplished by adding “faux fur” or “real fur” to the permanent tag attached to the clothing, to the temporary tag used by the merchant to identify the merchandise, or by affixing, in a conspicuous place, a sticker stating “faux fur” or “real fur” to the article of clothing itself.
Massachusetts General Laws: Chapter 94. Section 277A – all natural, dyed or imitation furs, and all articles made wholly or partly therefrom, sold at retail within the commonwealth, shall be plainly marked or labeled with an accurate statement of the material which they contain, together with the name and address of the seller.
Wisconsin Statutes Annotated. Chapter 100.35 – requires all garments containing animal fur should have a label that states in English the species of fur or pelt used. The labeling requirement does not apply to garments that are sold at a price of less than USD 50.
Delaware: Section 1, Chapter 25, Title 6 of the Delaware Code – related to Prohibited Trade Practices, establishes labeling requirements for the sale of apparel containing animal fur. The required labeling applies regardless of the price or value of the fur in the garment.
New Jersey Statutes Annotated. Title 56, Chapter 14 – requires all garments containing animal fur regardless of the price or value of the fur that sold in New Jersey to be labeled with the type of animal fur and the country of origin.
SGS offers highly competent fiber composition analysis and animal species identification for textile and fur products so as to assure that products meet the labeling regulations. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.
SGS Global Softlines has an extensive network of over 40 laboratories worldwide, with a strong team of committed professionals from multi-disciplinary backgrounds. Our internationally accredited state-of-the-art testing laboratories offer a comprehensive range of physical, chemical and functional testing services for components, materials and finished products. We help your company ensure quality, performance and compliance with international, industrial and regulatory standards worldwide. Discover more at www.sgs.com/softlines.
 FTC Fur Products Labeling Act: https://www.ftc.gov/node/119458
 Wisconsin: http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/100/35
 Delaware: http://delcode.delaware.gov/title6/c025/sc01/
 New Jersey: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2008/Bills/PL09/156_.pdf
For enquiries, please contact:
Director Technical Support, Softlines
t: +1 973 461 7919
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