FTC Approves Final Consent Settling Charges that Marketer of Outdoor Accessories Made False Made-in-the-USA Claims

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Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final consent order settling charges that a marketer of iPhone accessories, bottle holders, lens cleaners, dog collars, leashes, and other outdoor accessories falsely claimed some of its products were “Made in the U.S.A,” or “Truly Made in the USA,” when in fact the products contained substantial foreign content.

The FTC alleged that E.K. Ekcessories, Inc. violated the Federal Trade Commission Act by making false and unsupported statements that its products were all or virtually all made in the United States.  The settlement with E.K. Ekcessories, first announced in October 2013, prohibits the company from deceiving consumers about the degree to which its products are made in the United States. No comments were received regarding the proposed consent order during the public comment period.

According to the Commission’s 1997 U.S. Origin Claims Enforcement Policy Statement, for a product to be advertised or labeled as “Made in the U.S.A,” the product must be “all or virtually all” made in the United States – that is, all significant parts and processing must be of U.S. origin, and the product should contain no (or negligible) foreign content.

The Commission vote to approve the final order in this case was 4-0.  (FTC File No. 132 3156, E.K. Ekcessories; the staff contact is Julia Solomon Ensor, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326- 2377; see press release dated October 21, 2013)

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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