A new bill proposed in the Senate could possibly lead to more aggressive enforcement of customs and trade laws for imported textiles, including home fashion products.
Members of the Home Fashion Products Associate (HFPA) were notified on April 1 by association counsel Meeks, Sheppard, Leo & Pillsbury that the Textile Enforcement and Security Act of 2015 (TESA) is similar to legislation introduced in the last Congress.
“Under the proposed legislation, textile and apparel goods would be subject to seizure by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) if the product’s country of origin is not verified or is falsified at the time of entry,” said counsel Robert Leo.
Additionally, an electronic verification system for tracking textiles and apparel imported under free trade agreements by CBP and the Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) to ensure compliance with requirements, and enforcement fines collected could be used to pay for training specialists in textile and apparel enforcement. The U.S. government would have to publish the names of any parties located outside the U.S. customs territory who have filed false documentation for violations of quotas, duties or trade preference programs.
“As Duralee has always complied with U.S. textile labeling laws and as we always indicate the correct country of origin on all of our items, we are for any legislation that requires everyone to ‘play by the rules,’” said Lee Silberman, executive vice president of Duralee.
“While our fabrics are easily recognized due to their sophisticated relief, natural sheen and sensual touch, Donghia and Rubelli are pleased with the increased textile oversight by U.S. Customs proposed by the Senate,” said Andrea Rubelli, CEO of Donghia and co-CEO of Rubelli. “Imitations may contain chemicals that are not 100 percent safe, and consumers have the right to know whether they are buying a quality product or not.”
The full text of the bill will most likely be released after the current Congressional recess.