Textile Marking Requirements
As with all products imported into the United States, textile products must be marked with the country of origin prior to entering the U.S. to meet U.S. Customs’ labeling requirements. The marking must be permanent and legible for the ultimate purchaser or consumer to easily see the product's origin.
However, labeling requirements for textiles go one step further: Textile importers and manufacturers whose products are covered by the Textile, Wool and Fur Acts must also meet other federal labeling requirements in order to sell their goods in the United States. Enforcement of these regulations is tasked to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
These rules are slightly different for apparel, footwear, products of fur, and products of faux fur.
Labels on apparel must include:
The label must also include detailed care instructions that describe:
The label must be attached permanently. The importer may use their Registered Identification Number (RN) in lieu of their name on the label. The FTC issues RNs to U.S. businesses that manufacture, import, distribute, or sell products covered by the Textile, Wool and Fur Acts.
Footwear only requires the label to state the shoe’s country of origin.
The FTC also requires a permanent label be affixed to any product (clothing, footwear, or accessories) that includes fur. The label should include:
Faux fur is a bit more complicated.
Apparel: several states have separate regulations that state that the label of an item appears to be but isn’t fur should clearly state that it is faux fur and include the actual material content.
Footwear: as with apparel, some states require that the product label identify the good as having faux fur. However, the label does not require the actual material content to be listed.
As you can see, marking requirements can be very detailed and specific. Importers who import products without the proper markings can incur heavy fines, and in many cases, Customs will require importers to ship their goods back to their suppliers if the markings do not meet the regulations. This can be extremely costly.