On 14 July, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a final rule on the use of 'Made in United States' labels for products and services. The rule takes effect on 13 August, 2021.
The rule codifies the FTC’s existing enforcement policy on US-origin claims for products and services. Under the rule, marketers making unqualified 'Made in USA' claims on labels must be able to show that their products are “all or virtually all” made in the United States. The rule enables the FTC to seek damages, penalties, and to seek civil penalties of up to $43,280 per violation for fraudulent 'Made in USA' labeling. Mail order catalog or mail order promotional material is also subject to the rule.
The final rule prohibits marketers from including unqualified 'Made in USA' claims on labels unless:
1) Final assembly or processing of the product occurs in the United States
2) All significant processing that goes into the product occurs in the United States
3) All or virtually all ingredients or components of the product are made and sourced in the United States
The final rule adds an exemption option for those who can, where there is a question of non-compliance, show that the 'Made in USA' claims are not deceptive.
The rule applies only to labeling claims, and will not supersede, alter, or affect the application of other federal laws or regulations relating to country-of-origin labeling requirements, such as FDA rules on Meat Inspection, Poultry, and Egg Products. The rule does not supersede or alter State regulation of country-of-origin labeling requirements, and where inconsistent, only to the extent of the inconsistency.
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