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Office of Textiles and Apparel
Dedicated to increasing the international competitiveness of the U.S. fiber, textile, apparel, footwear, and travel goods industries

Made in the USA FAQs



Frequently Asked Questions

I am starting a business and would like to have my products made in the United States. How can OTEXA help me?

OTEXA can direct you to manufacturers in the U.S. and provide you with contacts that can assist you with business development and strategies.

A good place to start locating a manufacturer or cut and sew contractor for your products is to visit OTEXA’s Made in USA Sourcing & Products Directory. The directory is a registry of contractors, suppliers, and manufacturers of textiles, apparel, footwear, and travel goods products.

Once you locate a partner to help you manufacture your products, OTEXA can give you more guidance on business strategies including export counseling.

Some of my products are made in the United States and some are made in other countries. Can I be listed in OTEXA’s Made-in-USA directory?

To qualify for registration in the directory, your company must be incorporated in the United States with at least one manufacturing plant, assembly plant, or distribution center in the United States that manufactures, assembles or supplies U.S.-made products for the duration of your listing. Manufacturing or assembling in the United States under a contract and/or manufacturing or assembling a mix of U.S. and some foreign components also qualifies you for registration. To register as a supplier, you must be supplying products such as the type listed above.



What are the requirements for a product to be labeled as “Made in the USA”?

Under current Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines, a product may be advertised as “Made in the USA” if “all or virtually all” of the labor and materials in the product are domestic. While this standard is relatively strict, it allows a bit of flexibility in at least two situations.

First, if the product is fully manufactured in the U.S. – primarily from U.S. materials, but with a very small amount of foreign content – the FTC standard allows the product to be described as “Made in the USA.”

Second, the advertiser has the option to soften or “qualify” its Made in the USA claim by disclosing, for example, that the product is made in the U.S. with foreign and domestic materials.

However, if you are a California manufacturer or you want to market your products in California with a Made in USA label, please note the following:

California has enacted a statute which prohibits using a “Made-in-the-USA” claim if any part of the product is foreign-sourced. However, this strict standard was modified in September 2015, to be effective January 2016. The updated standard will more closely align with the FTC rule but will not be entirely consistent with it. Previously, California law set the strictest standard for “Made in America” claims, requiring nearly 100 percent of a product’s content be domestically sourced in the United States. The new law relaxes California’s stringent U.S.-origin labeling standard. The new standard allows products sold in California to be marked as “Made in USA” or “Made in America,” when a small part of the product’s contents are foreign-origin; as long as the foreign materials or parts do not exceed five percent of the final wholesale value of the merchandise; If the manufacturer of the merchandise can show that it cannot obtain the materials or parts in the United States, then the total foreign content cannot exceed 10 percent of the final wholesale value of the item. The law does not apply to goods offered for resale outside of California.

For questions on the FTC guidelines for labeling, contact:


Jock K. Chung



Division of Enforcement

Bureau of Consumer Protection

Federal Trade Commission

Washington, DC 20580

(202) 326–2984




I think that my products would be successful in other countries, but I’m not sure how to get started in international sales. Is there help for new exporters?

Exporting can be profitable for U.S. companies, large and small. As a first step, we suggest visiting the U.S. government’s export portal, Learn How to Export to take the Export Readiness Assessment and learn how to prepare to enter new markets. You can also talk to trade specialists at your local Export Assistance Center.

I am shipping my product to a country with a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in place. How do I know what forms to fill out?

For most export shipments, you will be required to file certain data about the shipment, known as the Electronic Export Information (EEI), with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. Census Bureau. Further information can be found at Automated Export System Direct (AESDirect).

Upon arrival in the foreign country, your shipment may need to be accompanied by a Certificate of Origin and other documentation as specified by the terms of the foreign government’s customs authority. To learn more about common export documentation, please visit Export Solutions. OTEXA also has extensive information on our FTA page and specific requirements for individual countries on our Foreign Markets webpage.

In addition, we suggest that you meet with your U.S. shipper of choice or contact a customs broker in the destination country for more detailed discussions on the export documentation requirements.

How can I learn more about sales potential for my products in overseas markets?

Market Research is a good first step to learn about the sales potential of your product or service in foreign markets. The U.S. Commercial Service offers free online market research to U.S. companies seeking to enter international markets. Its directory allows you to sort by country, industry, and/or type of market report. Visit their Foreign Market research website to register to access these reports.

The U.S. Commercial Service also has programs and services to help you locate potential business partners overseas. Contact your nearest U.S. Export Assistance Center and speak with an International Trade Specialist.

OTEXA can also assist by sharing our trade show experience with you. You can also participate in OTEXA’s trade events for market exposure and branding.



Do I need an export license to export textiles, apparel, footwear, or travel goods?

A license is generally not required to export traditional textile, apparel, footwear, and travel goods. To determine if an export license is needed from the Department of Commerce, you can find out if the product you intend to export has a specific Export Control Classification Number (ECCN). ECCNs are five-character alpha-numeric designations used on the Commerce Control List (CCL) to identify dual-use items for export control purposes. An ECCN categorizes items based on the nature of the product, i.e. type of commodity, software, or technology and its respective technical parameters.

All ECCNs are listed in the Commerce Control List (CCL), which is divided into ten broad categories, and each category is further subdivided into five product groups. The first character of the ECCN identifies the broader category to which it belongs, and the second character identifies the product group.

If your item falls under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Commerce and is not listed on the CCL, it is designated as EAR99. The majority of commercial products are designated EAR99 and generally will not require a license to be exported or re-exported. However, if you plan to export an EAR99 item to an embargoed or sanctioned country, to a party of concern, or in support of a prohibited end-use, you may be required to obtain a license.

To obtain further assistance regarding the ECCN of your product, see our or review the “How to Request an ECCN” brochure.

Where can I look current import/export data?

OTEXA maintains up-to-date import and export data for textiles, apparel, footwear, and travel goods.



If I get an international order, how do I ship my goods?

See the Navigate Shipping and Logistics webpage.



How do I get paid for international sales?

Explore your options for pricing, methods of payment, and financing for your foreign buyers by visiting Negotiate an Export Sale.



What are the requirements to export used clothing?

For more information on used clothing, visit OTEXA’s Foreign Markets webpage.



What is a Schedule B (export) number?

A Schedule B number is a classification code for the export of goods outside of the United States. The Schedule B, published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, allows the U.S. Government to record the amount (value and quantity) of goods exported out of the United States.

How do I know what Schedule B number is assigned to the product I plan to export?

The Schedule B is published online by the U.S. Census Bureau. Most textile and apparel goods are classified in Chapters 50-63; travel goods in Chapter 42; footwear in Chapter 64; and headwear in Chapter 65.

If you are unsure which classification is right for your product after reviewing the online resources, you can contact the Foreign Trade staff: Email us!; or call: (800)549-0595,