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Made in the USA Labeling Requirements

Understanding when a “Made in the U.S.A.” claim is legally sustainable is essential to avoid violating the FTC’s regulations.




(PRESS RELEASE) The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has broad jurisdiction to regulate advertising, including U.S. origin claims such as “Made in the U.S.A.” The agency’s enforcement powers were recently codified into federal regulations, giving the FTC the authority to access civil penalties against companies making deceptive U.S. origin claims on their labels or in their advertising.

Understanding when a “Made in the U.S.A.” claim is legally sustainable is essential to avoid violating the FTC’s regulations. For an overview of the “Made in the U.S.A.” labeling requirements, see below. To download the full FAQ document, click here.

Overview of “Made in the U.S.A.” Requirements

Unqualified claim: Whether expressed or implied, a product is represented as being produced in the U.S. or of U.S. content rather than foreign produced using foreign content.

Unqualified implications: The FTC looks at the overall net impression of an advertisement, label, or other promotional material, including U.S. flags, maps or references to U.S. locations of headquarters or factories.

Criteria for unqualified claims: The FTC’s regulations require that three criteria be satisfied before one can use an unqualified “Made in the U.S.A.” claim. If one prong fails, then the use of an unqualified claim would be false advertising and actionable under the FTC regulation:

  1. Final assembly or processing of the product occurs in the United States, and
  2. All significant processing that goes into the product occurs in the United States, and
  3. All or virtually all ingredients or components of the product are made and sourced in the United States

For more information on the criteria, including information on “significant processing,”  “All or virtually all,” raw materials evaluation and application examples, click here.

Qualified statements: Products with some, but not all U.S. content can make a “qualified” U.S. origin claim. This ranges from indicating existence of unspecified foreign content, “Made in USA of U.S. and imported parts,” to indicating principal assembly takes place in the U.S., “Assembled in the USA.”

Unconditional and Conditional labels: If a company’s product qualifies for an unconditional or conditional label, labeling is not mandatory and is a decision for the company.

Conditional Label: When considering a conditional “Made in the U.S.A.” label, members should also consider petitioning Customs and Border Protection for an exception to the country of origin marking rule for components it intends to import and then incorporate into a finished product it plans to produce or assemble in the U.S.

For more information, please direct all questions to Omar Elkhatib, The Vision Council’s government relations manager, at




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