Manufacturing Claims- Made In The USA - Wholesale Supplies Plus

Manufacturing Claims- Made In The USA

With the revival of manufactring in the U.S., many more companies are advertising their products as "Made in USA." According to new surveys, more americans would rather buy products made in America, rather than products that were manufactured overseas. It is important, however, to not falsley advertise your products.

With so much talk about reviving U.S. manufacturing and creating new jobs, more companies are advertising their products as “Made in USA” to draw in customers. Given a choice between a product made in the U.S. and the same product made overseas, 78% of Americans would rather buy the American product, according to a new survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. [1]

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is responsible for preventing deception and unfairness in the marketplace. The FTC Act gives the Commission the power to bring law enforcement actions against false or misleading claims that a product is of U.S. origin. Only cars, textiles, furs, and woolens are required by law to reveal where they are made. Manufacturers and marketers who choose to make claims about the amount of U.S. content in other types of products must comply with the FTC’s Made in USA policy. The agency doesn’t spot-check items that claim to be made in the United States, but it does investigate complaints. [2]

“Made in USA” claims can be “unqualified” or “qualified.” Unqualified means that “all or virtually all” significant parts and processing are of U.S. origin. The product may contain a small amount of foreign ingredients if they’re not significant--such as the zipper on a pair of slacks--and companies must be able to document any claim.

Third party certification is available for companies who would like to market products that are “Certified Made in USA”. Like other certifications, such as Certified Organic or Certified Vegan, there is a process to obtain permission to use “certified” credentials. This process often includes an application, fees and sometimes a materials audit and/or facility inspection. The certification process may include multiple certification levels based upon the percentage of qualifying raw materials in the finished product.

Made in USA Certified performs audits of the full supply chain of a product including verifying the country of origin for each component and supplier. If the product is found to be completely made in America, it is awarded the “made in USA certified” seal for use on its products. [3]

Made in USA Brand Certification Mark accreditation is available to businesses based in the United States that complete the online application and self-certify they meet the accreditation standards. [4]

The FTC has recently investigated several US origin claims. A settlement agreement was reached with E.K. Ekcessories, Inc. regarding claims on EK’s website that it had been producing accessories in Logan, Utah, for 28 years that were a “true ‘Made in the USA’ product.” EK, however, had imported many of its products and components from outside the US. The settlement requires that EK contact all distributors that bought or received the products in question between January 2010 and May 2013, notify each of them of the FTC order, request that they cease use of certain deceptive advertising materials, and for certain products where deceptive claims are made on the packaging, provide stickers to cover the deceptive claim.  The order will remain in effect for twenty years. [5]
To avoid a similar fate, manufacturers and marketers that wish to make “Made in USA” claims should be sure that the products described meet the “all or virtually all” standard or that the claims have been appropriately qualified.

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