Textile and Apparel - U.S. Market Entry Requirements
U.S. Market Entry Requirements
(Textiles, Apparel, Footwear, and Travel Goods)
Product Standards and Regulatory Requirements in the U.S. Market
See the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website - Clothing & Textiles-Facts for Businesses.
Helpful guides include:
- Threading Your Way Through the Labeling Requirements Under the Textile and Wool Act
- Clothes Captioning: Complying with the Care Labeling Rule
Also see the FTC’s Registered Identification Number (RN) Database webpage
For questions regarding U.S. textile and apparel labeling requirements, contact the FTC:
Division of Enforcement
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580
Tel: (202) 326-3553
- For leather products, see Guides for Select Leather and Imitation Leather Products - 16 C.F.R., Section 24.
- For imported products, see the Informed Compliance Guide on Marking Requirements for Wearing Apparel.
- For U.S. apparel sizing standards, see the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) webpage.
Product Safety Requirements
See the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website.
Mandatory textile standards:
- 16 CFR § 1610 – CPSC Compliance Guide on the Standard for the Flammability of Clothing Textiles
- 16 CFR § 1615 and 1616 – CPSC webpage on Children’s Sleepwear Regulations
- Requirements under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)
Find CPSC Product Safety Standards or Guidance that apply to your product.
For questions related to flammability standards: CPSC, Allyson Tenney at email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: 301-987-2769
CPSC PowerPoint presentation - Overview of U.S. Textile Requirements, March 2018
See the CPSC Regulatory Robot to guide you in identifying important product safety requirements that apply to certain products. Also see the CPSC Small Business Ombudsman, which provides guidance to ensure that consumer products are in compliance with the applicable federal laws on consumer product safety.
See also the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Guides for Industry: Compliance Requirements:
- Guide to U.S. Footwear Requirements
- Guide to U.S. Apparel and Household Textiles Requirements
For general information, see the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website - Basic Importing and Exporting where you will find the links “Tips for New Importers and Exporters” and “Importing into the United States.”
For specific questions, contact the CBP office at the port of entry where your merchandise will enter the United States or a service port of entry near you. A complete directory of ports of entry can be found on the CBP website - Locate a Port Of Entry - Air, Land, or Sea. Ask to speak with a CBP import specialist assigned to the commodity you are importing. Import specialists are a valuable resource for commodity specific knowledge and can provide classification advice, commodity specific requirements, advisory duty rates, and respond to questions you may have about filing an entry. You may also contact the CBP Center of Excellence and Expertise for Textiles, Apparel and Footwear (San Francisco).
For information on U.S. import tariffs, see the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) on the U.S. International Tariff Commission (USITC) website.
Importers can request a written ruling from CBP for the proper HTSUS classification and rate of duty for their merchandise. See Rulings and Legal Decisions on the CBP website. See Customs Rulings Online Search System (CROSS) for results of previous ruling requests. Issues such as value, country of origin marking, and applicability of trade preference programs can also be found on CROSS.
CBP publishes various Directives and Handbooks, which provide guidance on a variety of trade-related matters, as well as Informed Compliance Publications (ICPs), including the following:
- Classification of Children’s Apparel
- Classification of Coated and Water Resistant Apparel
- Classification of Hats and Other Headgear
- Classification of Knit to Shape Apparel Garments
- Classification: Apparel Terminology under the HTSUS
- Classification of Ribbons & Trimmings
- Classification of Textile Costumes
- Classification of Sets
- Country of Origin of Knit to Shape Apparel Products
- Fiber Trade Names & Generic Terms
- Fibers & Yarns Construction and Classification
- Gloves, Mittens & Mitts, Not Knitted or Crocheted
- Importation of Commercial Samples
- Marking Requirements for Wearing Apparel
- NAFTA for Textiles & Textile Articles
- Textile & Apparel Rules of Origin
See e-Allegations - Online Trade Violation Reporting System to report illegal import or export activities.
For U.S. import and export trade statistics, see OTEXA’s Trade Data webpage.