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FTC Consumer Alert!

FTC Offers RN Applications Online

The season's hottest news in the textile and apparel industry isn't necessarily what's being shown on the runways. It just may be the Federal Trade Commission's new online application for Registered Identification Numbers, or RNs.

According to the FTC, applications received at usually will be processed within three business days.

The FTC also announced that companies that already have RNs can update their application information, as required by law, by accessing the RN database at In addition, improvements to the search capabilities for the database will allow users to search by company name or RN, as well as by product line, type of business or location, including city, state or zip code.

Companies that manufacture, import, distribute or sell products covered by the Textile, Wool or Fur Labeling Acts are required to display their business name or RN, as well as the products' fiber or fur content and country of origin, on product tags and labels. RNs help manufacturers and sellers keep track of who's who in the textile trade and help buyers trace goods to a manufacturer or distributor.

The FTC says that while businesses are not required to use RNs on their goods, many choose to do so, especially if they offer several product lines sold in different markets.

The FTC business guide, Threading Your Way Through the Labeling Requirements Under the Textile and Wool Acts, answers many frequently asked questions about the labeling rules and the RN identification system. For copies, call the FTC's Textile Telephone Information Line at 202-326-3553.

Your Opportunity to Comment
The Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and 10 Regional Fairness Boards collect comments from small business about federal enforcement actions. Each year, the Ombudsman evaluates enforcement activities and rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. To comment on FTC actions, call 1-888-734-3247.

The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

November 2000