Don’t overlook product labelling requirements

There was a very interesting story last month about Target’s foray into Canada. It seems that someone, somewhere in Target’s supply chain got the UPC # wrong the result being that Target’s shipment of Barbie dolls to Canada was bottlenecked and created a major problem for Target’s entire operation in Canada. The moral of the story, check your labeling and packaging specs carefully.

But it is uncanny how often I get emails from people who have products for which they do not know the labeling or packaging requirements. For example, I had a project last year for a lady who was making a children’s garment accessory in China which she was selling online. She sent me some samples and I saw there was no care label on the product. I asked her about this and this was her reply:

“We have the country of origin on our box packaging above the UPC codes. Are you saying they need to be on the bags as well? I know we don’t have anything printed on the bags. I’ll have to look into that. “

I told her that yes, if it is a textile product, which it was, it needs to be labeled. I sent her the link to the US ITA ( International Trade Association) homepage where it is written as follows:

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforce labeling laws and acts in the United States. In general, textile and apparel products sold in the United States must be labeled with the following information: the fiber content, the country of origin, the manufacturer or dealer identity, and the care instructions.
She looked at the USITA site and came back to me and said as follows:

‘It looks like we will need to add a tag to the bag that states country of origin. Perhaps up at the top, like shirts are?’

So always make sure that you know your labeling requirements before giving a product to a vendor. And a good tip is this. Proof your labels, tags, UPC codes several times and when you are done have a few other people proof them so you can be sure they are correct.

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