FTC Approves Consent Order Regarding “Made in USA” False Claims

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Under the Federal Trade Commission’s 1997 Enforcement Policy Statement on U.S. Origin Claims, in order to say a product is made in the USA, “all or virtually all” of the product has to be U.S.-made.  All significant parts and processing must be of U.S. origin, and the product should contain no — or negligible — foreign content.

On December 4, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission approved a final consent order settling an action brought against E.K. EKcessaries, Inc., a Utah corporation, which advertises and sells outdoor equipment such as waterproof iPhone accessories, eyewear retainers, bottle holders, lens cleaners, ID and credential holders, dog collars and leashes, tie downs and tow straps.  E.K. EKcessories had touted that its merchandise was “Made in the USA,” “TRULY MADE IN THE USA,” and featured the U.S. flag on labels, product packaging and catalogues and featured statements on its website home page and in its catalogues, respectively, that “For 28 years E.K. EKcessories has been producing superior quality made accessories in the 60,000 sq. ft. facility in Logan, Utah” and “[o]ur source of pride and satisfaction abounds from a true ‘Made in USA’ product.”  In reality, none of the products advertised and sold were made in the USA.  As part of the FTC order, E.K. EKcessories was required to contact all of its distributors who purchased or received products between January 1, 2010 and May 1, 2013, and explain the FTC’s lawsuit and order.  E.K. EKcessories was required to  ask Retailers to pull and destroy marketing materials that state that E.K. EKcessories products are U.S.-made or that describe the products as made in the U.S., or U.S. origin or “Truly Made in the USA.”  For certain lines of E.K. EKcessories, E.K. EKcessories is required to provide stickers for retailers to packaging to cover claims that the items are made in the United States.

FTC Complaint and FTC Decision and Order