Proposed Revisions to Labeling Regulations under the FPLA

dreamstime_l_31478130Update:  The final rule was published in the Federal Register, but the online federal regulations have not yet been updated (See FTC updates business address requirements)


The Federal Trade Commission is looking to update their regulations under the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, and “modernize the place-of-business listing requirement.”  These are the regulations that apply to “true soap” that is exempt from the FDA definition of a cosmetic. The proposed change would amend 16 CFR 500.5(c) to read:

(c) The statement of the place of business shall include the street address, city, state, and zip code; however, the street address may be omitted if it is listed in a readily accessible, widely published, and publicly available resource, including but not limited to a printed directory, electronic database, or Web site.

This is very good news for everyone who makes true soap or other consumer commodities. Comments are being accepted until March 30, 2015.

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

They published the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register on February 2nd.  That means they have already gotten comments on the initial proposal and have either taken or discarded the comments to come up with the final wording they are proposing in the current notice. It has been assigned Docket ID FTC-2015-0017

Note that there are several changes being proposed in addition modernizing the place-of-business listing requirement.  These don’t have much impact on soap handcrafters, so are not addressed in this post.

Request for Public Comment

The FTC is looking for public comments on the effect the proposed changes might have.

In particular, they are looking for answers to the following questions:

(A) What benefits would a proposed change confer and on whom? The Commission in particular seeks information on any benefits a change would confer on consumers of consumer commodities as defined in the Act.

(B) What costs or burdens would a proposed change impose and on whom? The Commission in particular seeks information on any burdens a change would impose on small businesses.

(C) What regulatory alternatives to the proposed changes are available that would reduce the burdens of the proposed changes while providing the same benefits?

(D) What evidence supports your answers?

You can make your comments online.  Be sure to be concise and clear in your answer.  Include information about how the change will affect you (to the positive) and possibly information about your level of business.  Remember that all information is public record, so don’t post any information you want kept private.

Comment deadline is March 30, 2015.

 

Comments

  1. I am a Soapmaker. I work from home. The proposed change would benefit both the small business person and the consumer by eliminating any confusion about the lack of a physical retail location. I sell online or at craft fairs. If a buyer sees my address on a label, they may seek out my home address thinking they are going to a retail location. Because soap-making involves the use of sodium hydroxide, I don’t want to post my home address on my label as it is an invitation for meth labs to come find a sodium hydroxide supply. My home was burglarized two years ago. Police suspected a junkie, though the burglar did not appear to be looking for anything but electronics, jewelry, etc. I was so grateful that this person did not realize that sodium hydroxide was also on the premises. I have an LLC and would further argue that my LLC filing with the KS Secretary of State should also suffice for my address filing as well as the DNS registration for my website which also includes my address.

  2. And the amendment passed, which will make labeling much easier for those of us new to this.

Leave a Comment