Update: 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.