The Global Resource for the Leather Industry

Labelling Legislation Database

As explained elsewhere on this site, the correct labelling and description of leather and leather products is very important in order to protect both the leather market and consumers against misdescriptions. While there is a generally well understood definition of leather, national labelling legislation and standards vary in detail. The following is a summary of the national situations, as reported to ICT.

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DIRECTIVE 94/11/EC OF EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND COUNCIL of 23 March 1994 on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States relating to labelling of the materials used in the main components of footwear for sale to the consumer.

Country: EU    Date: 23/03/1994    Reference: OJ No L 102 of 19.4.1994

Applies to the labelling of the materials used in the main components of footwear for sale to the consumer (Art 1).A non-exhaustive list of the products covered by the Directive appears in Annex II. Article 1.2. Information on the composition of footwear shall be conveyed by means of labelling as specified in Article 4. (i) The labelling shall convey information relating to the three parts of the footwear as defined in Annex 1, namely:(a) the upper; (b) the lining and sock; and (c) the outersole. (ii) The composition of the footwear shall be indicated as specified in Article 4 on the basis either of pictograms or of written indications for specific materials, as stipulated in Annex 1. (iii) In the case of the upper, classification of the materials shall be determined on the basis of the provisions contained in Article 4 (1) and in Annex 1, no account being taken of accessories or reinforcements such as ankle patches, edging, ornamentation, buckles, tabs, eyelet stays or similar attachments. (vi)In the case of the outersole, classification shall be based on the volume of the materials contained therein, in accordance with Article 4.

Article 4: 1. The labelling shall provide information on the material, determined in accordance with Annex I, which constitutes at least 80 % of the surface area of the upper, and the lining and sock, of the footwear, and at least 80 % of the volume of the outersole. If no one material accounts for at least 80 %, information should be given on the two main materials used in the composition of the footwear. 2. The information shall be conveyed on the footwear. The manufacturer or his authorized agent established in the Community may choose either pictograms or written indications in at least the language or languages which may be determined by the Member State of consumption in accordance with the Treaty, as defined and illustrated in Annex I. Member States, in their national provisions shall ensure that consumers are adequately informed of the meaning of these pictograms, while ensuring that such provisions do not create trade barriers. 3. For the purpose of this Directive, labelling shall involve affixing the required information to at least one article of footwear in each pair. This may be done by printing, sticking, embossing or using an attached label. 4. The labelling must be visible, securely attached and accessible and the dimensions of the pictograms must be sufficiently large to make it easy to understand the information contained therein. It must not be possible for the labelling to mislead the consumer. 5. The manufacturer or his authorized agent established in the Community shall be responsible for supplying the label and for the accuracy of the information contained therein. If neither the manufacturer nor his authorized agent is established in the Community, this obligation shall fall on the person responsible for first placing the footwear on the Community market. The retailer shall remain responsible for ensuring that the footwear sold by him bears the appropriate labelling prescribed by this Directive.

Article 5: Additional textual information, affixed, should the need arise, to the labelling may accompany the information required under this Directive. However, Member States may not prohibit or impede the placing on the market of footwear conforming to the requirements of this Directive, in accordance with Article 3.

Annex 1, 2 (a) (i) Leather: A general term for hide or skin with its original fibrous structure more or less intact, tanned to be rot-proof. The hair or wool may or may not have been removed. Leather is also made from a hide or skin which has been split into layers or segmented either before or after tanning. However, if the tanned hide or skin is disintegrated mechanically and/or chemically into fibrous particles, small pieces or powders and then, with or without the combination of a binding agent, is made into sheets or other forms, such sheets or forms are not leather. If the leather has a surface coating, however applied, or a glued-on finish, such surface layers must not be thicker than 0,15 mm. Thus, all leathers are covered without prejudice to other legal obligations, e.g. the Washington Convention. Should the term ‘full grain leather’ be used in the optional additional textual information referred to in Article 5, it will apply to a leather bearing the original grain surface as exposed by removal of the epidermis and with none of the surface removed by buffing, snuffing or splitting. (ii) Coated Leather: leather where the surface coating applied to the leather does not exceed one third of the total thickness of the product but is in excess of 0,15 mm. Annex 1 includes also the pictograms corresponding to these definitions and the translation of the terms in all EU languages.

Regulation (EU) No 1007/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 September 2011 on textile fibre names and related labelling and marking of the fibre composition of textile products and repealing Council Directive 73/44/EEC and Directives 96/73/EC and 2008/121/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council.

Country: EU    Date: 27/09/2011    OJ Nº L 272 of 18.10.2011

Leather (and Fur) are obviously the most widespread materials of animal origin that could be used as trims or ornaments in textile products. The presence of any or several of these products in a quantity below 20% of the weight of the textile material under consideration triggers the labelling or marking obligation of the article 12 of the EU Regulation: Article 12 Textile products containing non-textile parts of animal origin: 1. The presence of non-textile parts of animal origin in textile products shall be indicated by using the phrase “Contains non-textile parts of animal origin” on the labelling or marking of products containing such parts whenever they are made available on the market. 2. The labelling or marking shall not be misleading and shall be carried out in such a way that the consumer can easily understand.


DECRETO LEGISLATIVO 9 giugno 2020, n. 68: Nuove disposizioni in materia di utilizzo dei termini «cuoio», «pelle» e «pelliccia» e di quelli da essi derivati o loro sinonimi e la relativa disciplina sanzionatoria, ai sensi dell’articolo 7 della legge 3 maggio 2019, n. 37 – Legge europea 2018.

Country: Italy    Date: 09/06/2020    Reference: Gazz.Uff. 26.06.2020, n160

The decree facilitates the dissemination of information to the consumer, adapting national legislation (Law No 1112 of 16 December 1966 regulating the use of the names “leather”, “hide” and “fur” and terms derived therefrom) with the provisions of the European Union in harmonized areas, such as the labelling of footwear (Directive 94/11/EC).

Art. 1 and 2 set the limits of the decree (excluding footwear) and the new definitions, which include leather, hide, fur, coated leather, full-grain leather and regenerated leather fibres, as provided in the Footwear directive and EN 15987, ‘Leather – Terminology – Key Definitions for the Leather Trade’. Definitions of articles, labels and other distinctive signs are also included.

Art. 3 forbids the placing and making available on the market of materials and products manufactured with such materials, which use the above-mentioned terms (even in other languages) if they do not correspond to the definitions of article 2. The same terms are prohibited even if used as adjectives, nouns or suffixes and prefixes for other words, and all terms that have similarities with those definitions, but with a different composition, are further prohibited.

Producers and distributors of leather articles that use the given terms to describe and identify the materials are obliged to label the articles in accordance with art. 4, with the exception of trade between operators within the supply chain (i.e. tanners to their clients), for which the commercial document can substitute labels, and the exclusion of goods under art. 12 of Reg 1007/2011 (non-textile parts of animal origin).

Finally, the decree defines new sanctions and the Authorities that have the duty to enforce the new provisions.

The decree comes into force on the 24th October, 2020. There is a 24-month transition period for producers to clear stock already produced.

La legge 16 dicembre 1966, n. 1112 (Disciplina dell’uso dei nomi «cuoio», «pelle» e «pelliccia» e dei  termini  che  ne derivano), e’ pubblicata  nella  Gazzetta  Ufficiale  27 dicembre 1966, n. 325.

Country: Italy    Date: 16/12/1966    Reference: Gazz.Uff. 27.12.1966, n325

In five short but effective articles it reserves the terms “cuoio” and “pelle”, the Italian terms for leather, exclusively to the products obtained from the transformation of animal hides and skins through tanning “so as to keep unaltered the natural structure of the fibres” (article 1). The Law furthermore expressly bans “the placing for sale or placing otherwise on the market under the name cuoio or pelle or their derivatives or synonyms, or under generic names such as pellame or pelleteria, any product that is not corresponding to the products defined in article 1” (article 3). Article 4 specifies that the rules of this law apply also to imported products, and article 5 sets the corresponding administrative fine for infringements “unless the offense doesn’t constitute a greater crime”.

Legge 8 : Nuovi disposizioni in materia di utilizzo dei termini cuoio, pelle e pellicia e di quelli da essi derivanti o loro sinonimi.

Country: Italy    Date: 14/02/2013   Reference: Gazz.Uff. 14.01.2013

New provisions concerning the use of the terms “leather”, “pelt” and “fur” and their derivatives and synonyms were issued by the President of the Senate of the Republic on 15 November 2012 repealing Law No. 1112 of 16 December 1966. ARTICLE 1defines leather as follows:

1. The terms “leather” and “pelt” and their derivatives and synonyms, including when translated into a foreign language, are reserved exclusively for products, with or without hair, obtained from the processing of animal spoils which are subject to tanning or impregnation in order preserve the natural structure of their fibres intact, as well as for all articles created with them with covering layers made from other material with a thickness of 0.15 mm or smaller.
2. The term “fur” and its derivatives and synonyms, including when translated into a foreign language, are reserved exclusively for products obtained from the processing of animal spoils which are subject to tanning or impregnation in order to preserve the natural structure of their fibres intact, as well as for all articles created with them.
3. The provisions of points 1 and 2 above also apply where such terms are used as adjectives, nouns or as prefixes or suffixes in other words.
4. A Decree of the Ministry of Economic Development is to be adopted within ninety days from the date of entry into effect of this law laying down the technical specifications of regenerated leather fibres and products created through the mechanical disintegration or chemical reduction of fibrous particles, pieces or powders of the products described in points 1 and 2 and subsequently processed, with or without the addition of binding agents, into sheets or other forms for which the use of the terms “leather”, “pelt” and “fur” are prohibited.

1. The products described in article 1 are subject to the provisions in force concerning protection of consumer health, workers’ rights and the environment.
2. The obligations described in point 1 are assumed by all companies specialising in the processing of the products in article 1 based on organisation, management and processing models certified by third-party entities accredited in accordance with the relevant national and international regulations in force.
3. The most-represented manufacturer, consumer and worker associations may form consortia to ensure the geographical origin, nature and quality of the products described in article 1.

1. It is prohibited to sell or place on the market items not exclusively obtained from animal spoils processed specifically for the purpose of conserving their natural characteristics, or any products other than those described in article 1, under the terms “leather”, “pelt”, “fur” and their derivatives and synonyms, as adjectives or nouns or inserted as prefixes or suffixes of other words, or under the generic descriptions “hides”, “leatherwear” or “furs”, including when translated into a foreign language.
2. For products obtained from processing in foreign countries which use the Italian wording of the terms indicated in article 1 points 1 and 2, the label must clearly indicate their country of origin.

1. Violations of the provisions of this law shall be penalised with a fine of €10,000 to €50,000 and the merchandise shall be seized, except where the act in question constitutes a criminal offence.
2. Measures protecting the provisions of this law may also be undertaken by official national union associations.


PRESIDÊNCIA DO CONSELHO DE MINISTROS Decreto-Lei n.º 3/2022 de 4 de Janeiro

Country: Portugal    Date: 01/01/2022    Reference: Diário da República, 1.ª série, N.º 2, 4 de janeiro de 2022, Pág. 15

Defines the term “leather” and establishes the conditions of its use, as a name of the composition of products placed on the national market.
This Decree-Law creates a suitable definition of the term ‘leather’, by specifying all the characteristics and the technical standards to be observed and laying down the conditions under which that term (or its derivatives) may be used by producers and manufacturers. This contributes to fair competition between economic operators, with a focus on informed and informed choice by consumers.
Article 1 – Object and scope
1 – This Decree-Law establishes the definition and use of the term ‘leather’ and its derivatives or synonyms, as a name of the composition of the products manufactured and placed on the national market, to be considered in the labelling, marking and advertising of materials, promoting a correct information to the consumers.
2 — The provisions of this decree-law do not apply to products covered by Decree-Law No. 26/96 of 23 March
Article 2 – Definitions
For the purposes of this Decree-Law, it is understood by:
(a) Full grain means leather having kept its entire grain, with none of the surface removed by any corrective mechanical treatment;
(b) ‘Tanned leather and skin’ means a product obtained from animal skin which hide or skin with its original fibrous structure more or less intact, tanned to be imputrescible, where the hair or wool may or may not have been removed, whether or not the hide or skin has been split into layers or segmented either before or after tanning and where any surface coating or surface layer, however applied, is not thicker than 0.15 mm. ‘Tanned’ is also considered to be skins that have been divided into layers or segments, whether the split has occurred before or after tanning. If the tanned hide or skin is disintegrated mechanically and/or chemically into fibrous particles, small pieces or powders and then, with or without the combination of a binding agent, is made into sheets or other forms, such sheets or forms are not leather.;
(c) ‘coated leather’ means a leather where the thickness of the coating or counter-take-off surface does not exceed one third of the total thickness of the product and exceeds 0,15 mm;
(d) ‘Leather Croute’, skin with complete removal of the epidermis.
Article 3 – Conditions of use
1 – The names of the previous article may only be used in products which fulfil all the characteristics defined therein, as well as in the products manufactured with them.
2 – It is prohibited to sell, market or advertise products using the terms ‘leather’, ‘skin’, ‘tanned skin’, ‘coated leather’, as well as the other terms defined in the preceding article, its derivatives or synonyms, as a mean of naming any other materials which do not comply with the characteristics defined in the preceding article, either as a noun or as an adjective, even if entered as prefixes or suffixes in other words, regardless of the language used.
3 – The violation of the provisions of this Article constitutes a misleading commercial practice, in accordance with the provisions of Decree-Law No. 57/2008 of March 26, in its current writing.
Article 4 – Compliance verification and mutual recognition
1 – The verification of the conformity of the products with article 2 shall be carried out in accordance with EN/ISO 17131 and EN 15987 in its latest version.
Article 13 – Transitional standard
Products which at the date of entry into force of this Decree-Law are placed on the market and do not meet the definitions and conditions of use provided for in Articles 2 and 3, respectively, may continue to be marketed until any stocks are disposed of, without application of the procedure until 31 December 2022.
Article 14 – Date of Effect
This decree-law shall take effect on 1 January 2022.


Decreto 3289/1974.

Country: Spain    Date: 21/11/1974

Original Spanish labelling regulation reviewed in 1984.

Real Decreto 769/1984 por el que se establece la normative de las denominaciones de piel, cuero, curtido y piel curtida para peleteria en la elaboración, circulación y comercio de sus manufacturas.

Country: Spain    Date: 08/02/1984   Reference: BOE Num. 93 de 18 abril 1984, p. 10949

The 1984 Royal Decree motivates the legislation with the need to protect consumers from confusing interpretations on the originating materials. It thus defines the terms skin (piel), hide (cuero), leather (curtido) and fur (piel curtida para peleteria) (article 2). Also the Spanish legal definition of leather takes over the core of the ICT definition referring to the “natural structure”, the “imputrescibility” and the lack of relevance whether the hair or wool has been kept. Article 3, par. 2, furthermore bans the use of the leather terms defined under article 1 for a) those products that while having been obtained from animal hides or skins, “have lost their natural structure for having been submitted to mechanical or chemical fragmentation” or other destructive action, proceeding afterwards “to their agglomeration or reconstitution”, and b) leather products with a surface coating exceeding “0.3 mm or a third of the total thickness” of the material. While the spirit of the ICT definition has been kept in the Spanish legislation on leather, there are a few inconsistencies that would require a review , notably through a EU harmonisation process. Article 6 and 7 set the rules for the marketing of leather products. The former specifies the rules regarding labelling, and the latter bans “any type of publicity” that could “cause confusion to the consumer with regard to the nature, composition and origin of these products or others pretending to imitate them”.

Real Decreto 165/1988 por el que se modifica el Real Decreto 769/1984, de 8 de febrero, por el que se establece la normative de las denominaciones de piel, cuero, curtido y piel curtida para peleteria en la elaboración, circulación y comercio de sus manufacturas.

Country: Spain    Date: 29/01/1988   Reference: BOE Num. 48 de 25 febrero 1988, p. 6056

Article 6 is revised clarifying among others how the foreign origin of the products has to be evidenced.

Orden de 5 de marzo de 1985, de la Presidencia del Gobierno por la que se establece la normative para el etiquetado del calzado.

Country: Spain    Date: 29/01/1988   Reference: BOE Num. 48 de 25 febrero 1988, p. 6056

First footwear labelling Order. Refers to the definitions consecrated in the 1984 legislation on leather terms.

Real Decreto 1718/1995, de 27 de octubre por el que se regula el etiquetado de los materiales utilizados en los components principales del calzado.

Country: Spain    Date: 27/10/1995   Reference: BOE Num. 36 de 10 febrero 1996

EU footwear labelling directive transposed in Spanish law. The reference to leather terms is only to those harmonised at EU level.

Orden de 23 septiembre 1985 relativa el etiquetado de los productos de cuero y piel.

Country: Spain    Date: 23/09/1985   Reference: BOE Num. 232 de 27 septiembre 1985

Labelling of leather clothing, bed covers, carpets and rugs.

Orden de 15 febrero de 1990 por la que se establece la normative para el etiquetado informativo de los articulos de marroquinería, viaje y guarnicionería.

Country: Spain    Date: 15/02/1990   Reference: BOE Num. 44 de 20 febrero 1990

Labelling of leathergoods, travel-goods and haberdashery. This Order also defines in its article 2 further to leather (art. 2a refers to the definitions and prohibitions of the Real Decreto 769/1984) other materials such as textiles (art. 2b refers to the Real Decreto 982/1987 regarding the composition labelling of textile products), wood (art. 2c, describing wood and excluding from this appellation “agglomerates”), cork (art. 2d, also excluding agglomerates), cardboard (art. 2e), metal (art. 2f) and synthetic (art. 2g, defining it as a “homogeneous material whether or not obtained from natural products, transformed by physical or chemical methods”). This article further specifies that materials with a surface coating of plastic in excess of 0.3mm or 1/3 of the total thickness of the product have to be considered synthetic (sic).


Loi du 25 juin 1936 tendant à la definition légale et à la protection du cuir et à la repression de la fraude dans la vente du cuir et des produits ornés de cuir.

Country: France    Date: 25/06/1936

Legal definition of leather. Only 2 articles are still in force, the first concerns the definition of leather and the rules regarding the use of the term, the second concerns the sanctions for infringement, albeit this latter disposition has been obviously amended in the 1990ies. Article 1, first paragraph, prohibits expressly “to import, detain for sale or place for sale or to sell under the name “leather”, with or without qualification, any material presenting or not the appearance of leather, that is not the product obtained of an animal skin by way of a tannage or impregnation that preserves the natural formation of the fibres of leather”. In the second paragraph it rules that products not conforming to the definition “whatever similarity in the look they may have with leather” cannot “carry a denomination comprising the word leather”. The third paragraph refers to a Decree that shall set the conditions under which similar or substitutive products to leather could be sold.

Décret du 18 février 1986 portant application au commerce des produits en cuir et similaire du cuir de la loi du 1er août 1905 sur les fraudes et falsfications en matière de produits ou de services.

Country: France    Date: 18/02/1986

Enactment of the decree.

Décret nº 2010-29 du 8 janvier 2010 portant application de l’article L. 214-1 du code de la consommation à certains produits en cuir et à certains produits similaires.

Country: France    Date: 08/01/2010    Reference: JORF 10 janvier 2010

The latter distinguish between “leather” (cuir) and “split leather” (croûte or refente de cuir) in article 1, paragraph II, defining split leather as the flesh split where the natural grain pattern is, in principle, no longer apparent. Article 2, paragraph I, states that “the use of the term “leather”, as a noun or root or as an adjective, whatever language is used, is prohibited for the designation of any material other than the one obtained from an animal skin by way of a tannage or impregnation preserving the natural form of the skin fibres”. The rules for the correct labelling of the products defined in article 1 are given in article 3.

Arrêté du 8 février 2010 relatif à l’application du decreet nº 2010-29 du 8 janvier 2010 portant application du code de la consommation en ce qui concerne certains produits en cuir et similaires du cuir.

Country: France    Date: 08/02/2010

Further develops the labelling rules for leather and leather products. In its Annex II it defines among others the term “Synderme” in similar terms as ICT defines leather fibre board, and the term “Synthétique” as a general term designating a material composed in full or in part of products obtained through macromolecular synthesis. Other annexes provide for the parts of leather articles, which require being composition labelled (Annex I), and for qualifying terms for leather and splits (Annex III animal species, Annex IV surface types for leather, Annex V finishing types) and Annex VI provide the relevant pictograms.

South Africa

Country: South Africa    Date: 28/10/2010    Reference: Staatskoerant, 29 November 2010 – No. 33818 p19

Draft for Consultation – 28 October 2010 – Consumer Protection Act, 2008 (68/2008): Proposed Consumer Protection Regulations, 2010: For public comment.

8.(1) In order to assist consumers in making informed choices, for purpose of section 24(4) of the Act and subject to subregulation (2), the importation into or the sale in the Republic of the goods specified in Annexure A, irrespective of whether such goods were manufactured or adapted in the Republic or elsewhere, is prohibited unless (a) a trade description, meeting the requirements of section 22 of the Act, is applied to such goods in a conspicuous manner stating clearly (i) the country of origin in which they were manufactured, produced or adapted;… (iii) that a locally manufactured product using imported material must state “Made in South Africa from imported materials”; (e) goods are correctly labelled.(….) Annexure A (…) 3. Shoes and leather goods as listed in Chapter 42, 43 and 64 of Jacobson’s Harmonized Customs and Excise Tariff Book.


Country: Colombia    Date: 26/06/2007    Reference: Diario Oficial Nº 46674 del 29 de Junio de 2007

Resolución Nº 1264 de 2007 (26 de Junio) “Por la cual se expide el Reglamento Técnico sobre Etiquetado de Confecciones” (Garment Labelling Regulation).

Covers both domestic and imported products (Art 1); Aims reducing or eliminating misleading consumer information (Art 2); Scope includes HS 4203 (Leather Garments); Definitions: (…) 4. Leather: Generic Term for a fibrous proteic material (collagen) of the skin of animals, with grain or corrected grain that has been treated chemically with tanning material to give it hidrotermic stability and improve its physical characteristics. (Art 4); General labelling requirements (Art 5.2); Care Labelling: according to Colombian Standard NTC-1806, Tercera actualización del 24 de agosto, Anexo No. 1 a este Reglamento Técnico. (Art 5.2.8)c)); Materials to be listed in the label have to be indicated in % if in excess of 5% (Art 5.2.8)d)); Conformity assessment (Art 7); Certification by accredited test laboratories (Art 8); Import authorisation/license (Art 9); Registration of importers (Art 13).

Resolución Nº 0933 de 2008 (21 ABR 2008) “Por la cual se expide el Reglamento Técnico sobre etiquetado de Calzado y algunos Artículos de Marroquineria, y se derogan las Resoluciones 0510 de 2004 y 1011 de 2005” (Footwear and Leather goods labelling Regulation).

Country: Colombia    Date: 21/04/2005

Aim: Setting minimum labelling requirement for footwear and some leathergoods intended to be placed on the market for preventing consumer deceptive practices (Art 2); Scope: HS ex4202.11, ex 4202.12, ex 4202.19, ex 4202.21, ex 4202.22, ex 4202.31, ex 4202.32, ex 4202.39, ex 4202.91, ex 4202.92, ex 4202.99, ex 6401.10, ex 6401.92, ex 6401.99, ex 6402, ex 6403, ex 6404, ex 6405 (Art 3);

Definitions (Art 4.1): Suede: the velvet-type touch of the flesh side given to a skin…; Back: the velvet touch on the grain side given to a skin; Badana: Vegetable tanned sheepskin; Charol: Patent-type finish given to any skin including artificial or regenerated material; Corrugado: chemically obtained effect on a skin; Cuero Charolado: the leather which grain side has been covered by a coating of paint and to which a brilliant or plastic film has been applied; Cuero para suela: material tanned for sole (crupón); Cuero plenaflor: among others the badana, the vaqueta and the one from pig skins; Cuero (Leather): Generic term for the fibrous proteic material, with or without grain (collagen), that covers the animal and that has been treated by different methods, that preserves its original fibrous structure more or less intact in order not to putrify; Gamuza (Chamois): the soft and velvet touch on the flesh side given to a skin or split of goats, sheep or cattle; Glasé: it’s the shine given to any skin of goats or sheeps; Hunting: It’s the velvet touch on the flesh side given to a cattle or calf skin; (…); Fundamental constituent parts (Art 4.2): Footwear (Art 4.2.1) Capellada (upper); Forro (lining); Suela (sole); Leathergoods (Art 4.2.2): Recubrimiento (cover); Forro (lining); Labelling requirements (Art 5): true and complete information and other requirements of this regulation are mandatory; Language: spanish (Art 5.1); Designation and descriptions of materials in footwear (Art 6): 80% rule and indication of all materials starting with the mpredominant one if noone predominates;Designation and description of materials in leathergoods (Art 7):idem; Conformity assessment (Art 8);(…); Annex: Pictograms (taken from the EU labelling Directive).


Law nº 4.888, of 9 December 1965.

Country: Brazil    Date: 09/12/1965    Reference: Official Journal

Brazilan law that regulates the use of the term leather for products sold on the Brazilian market. Article 1 reserves the term “couro” (leather) exclusively to the product made of an animal hide or skin. Article 2 requires that artificial imitation materials be characterised with its true nature when being placed on the market. Article 3reinforces the rule of Article 1 in that it prohibits the use of the term leather with whatever suffix or prefix when the material does not correspond to the material as defined in Article 1. Article 4 establishes that any violation of the law constitutes a crime and is sanctioned by the penal code.


US Select Leather Guides.

Country: USA   

The Guides in this part apply to the manufacture, sale, distribution, marketing, or advertising of all kinds or types of leather or simulated-leather products including leathergoods, clothing and footwear. These Guides specifically address the application of section 5 of the FTC Act (15 U.S.C. 45) to the manufacture, sale, distribution, marketing, and advertising of industry products listed. They provide the basis for voluntary compliance with such laws by members of industry. Conduct inconsistent with the positions articulated in these Guides may result in corrective action by the Commission under section 5 if, after investigation, the Commission has reason to believe that the behavior falls within the scope of conduct declared unlawful by the statute. § 24.2 refers to Deception as to composition stating that it is unfair or deceptive to misrepresent, directly or by implication, the composition of any industry product or part thereof. It is unfair or deceptive to use the unqualified term ‘‘leather’’ or other unqualified terms suggestive of leather to describe industry products unless the industry product so described is composed in all substantial parts of leather. This section includes, but is not limited to, the following:
(a) Imitation or simulated leather. If all or part of an industry product is made of non-leather material that appears to be leather, the fact that the material is not leather, or the general nature of the material as something other than leather, should be disclosed. For example: Not leather; Imitation leather; Simulated leather; Vinyl; Vinyl coated fabric; or Plastic.
(b) Embossed or processed leather. The kind and type of leather from which an industry product is made should be dis- closed when all or part of the product has been embossed, dyed, or otherwise processed so as to simulate the appearance of a different kind or type of leather. The Guides further states under (d) Misuse of trade names, etc, that a trade name, coined name, trademark, or other word or term, or any depiction or device should not be used if it misrepresents, directly or by implication, that an industry product is made in whole or in part from animal skin or hide, or that material in an industry product is leather or other material. This includes, among other practices, the use of a stamp, tag, label, card, or other device in the shape of a tanned hide or skin or in the shape of a silhouette of an animal, in connection with any industry product that has the appearance of leather but that is not made wholly or in substantial part from animal skin or hide.
Moreover, under (e) Misrepresentation that product is wholly of a particular composition, the Guides indicates that a misrepresentation should not be made, directly or by implication, that an industry product is made wholly of a particular composition. A representation as to the composition of a particular part of a product should clearly indicate the part to which the representation applies. Under (f) Ground, pulverized, shredded, recon- stituted, or bonded leather, the Guides refers to leather fibres: A material in an industry product that contains ground, pulverized, shredded, reconstituted, or bonded leather and thus is not wholly the hide of an animal should not be represented, directly or by implication, as being leather. This provision does not preclude an accurate representation as to the ground, pulverized, shredded, reconstituted, or bonded leather content of the material. However, if the material appears to be leather, it should be accompanied by either:
(1) An adequate disclosure as described by paragraph (a) of this section; or
(2) If the terms ‘‘ground leather,’’ ‘‘pulverized leather,’’ ‘‘shredded leather,’’ ‘‘reconstituted leather,’’ or ‘‘bonded leather’’ are used, a disclosure of the percentage of leather fibers and the percentage of non-leather substances contained in the material. For example: An industry product made of a composition material consisting of 60% shredded leather fibers may be de- scribed as: Bonded Leather Containing 60% Leather Fibers and 40% Non-leather Substances.
Finally, (g) Form of disclosures under this section. All disclosures described in this section should appear in the form of a stamping on the product, or on a tag, label, or card attached to the product, and should be affixed so as to remain on or attached to the product until re- ceived by the consumer purchaser. All such disclosures should also appear in all advertising of such products irrespective of the media used whenever statements, representations, or depic- tions appear in such advertising which, absent such disclosures, serve to create a false impression that the products, or parts thereof, are of a certain kind of composition. The disclosures affixed to products and made in advertising should be of such conspicuousness and clarity as to be noted by purchasers and prospective purchasers casually inspecting the products or casually reading, or listening to, such advertising. A disclosure necessitated by a particular representation should be in close conjunction with the representation.
The Guides also refers under §24.3 to the misuse of the terms ‘‘water- proof,’’ ‘‘dustproof,’’ ‘‘warpproof,’’ ‘‘scuffproof,’’ ‘‘scratchproof,’’ ‘‘scuff resistant,’’ and ‘‘scratch resistant.’’


WTO Notification G/TBT/N/ECU/94 – Proyecto de Reglamento Técnico Ecuatoriano PRTE INEN 080 “Etiquetado de Calzado” (Draft Technical Regulation of the Ecuadorian Standardization Institute (PRTE INEN) No. 080: “Labelling of footwear”).

Country: Ecuador    Date: 29/01/2013

Reglamento Técnico Ecuatoriano RTE INEN 013 “Etiquetado y rotulado de textiles, prendas de vestir, calzado y accesorios afines”, mediante Acuerdo Ministerial No. 06382 del 18 de septiembre de 2006, promulgado en el Registro Oficial No. 381 del 20 de octubre de 2006.

Country: Ecuador    Date: 29/01/2013

The text defines under 3.1.5 leather according to the ICT definition. It furthermore indicates under that the term leather cannot be used for reconstituted leatherfibre material or when the coating thickness exceeds the third of the material thickness. Coated leather is efined under 3.1.6 and allows a coating between 0,15mm and up to 1/3 of the total thickness of the material.


NOM-020-SCFI-1997 Información comercial-Etiquetado de cueros y pieles curtidas naturales y materiales sintéticos o artificiales con esa apariencia, calzado, marroquinería, así como los productos elaborados con dichos materiales.

Country: Mexico    Date: 04/09/1997    Reference: Díario Oficial de la Federacion del 4 septiembre de 1997

This official Mexican Standard is mandatory for the placing on the market of leather and leather products. It specifies what can be termed leather and how leather products are labelled for their sale in Mexico. Sinthetic or artificial materials with the appearance of leather are defined in Article 3.2 where it is indicated that they have to be described as such but can also carry their specific name, such as PVC, ABS, Vynil or other. The use of the term leather is forbidden for refering to these materials. Leather (Piel o cuero) is defined under Article 3.5 as the “Proteic fibrous material with grain (collagen) that covers the animal and that has been treated chemically with tanning agents in order to make it stable in humid conditions whereby producing also some further associated changes, such as improved physical characteristics, hydrothermal stability and flexibility.” Splits are defined under Article 3.5.1 where it states that these products have to be described as such. Article 3.5.2 concerns leather fibres that have been reconstituted. They have to be described as “recycled materials” and can indicate the composition (leather fibres, nylon, poliester or other). The Standard also provides a number of definitions for the finishing of materials and for the way specificities of leather should be described (example calf). Article 4 provides the rule that all materials and finished products within the scope of the Standard have to be labelled or marked in Spanish in permanent form and with the following information: Name of producer or importer, the statement “Made in” and the country of origin, definition of the materials. Article 4.1.2 indicates the leather products labelling requirements. Leather marking or labelling is covered by Article 4.2 stating that they can be placed on the packaging.


Arrêté royal du 17 janvier 1983 portant réglementation des dénominations employées dans le secteur du cuir tanné et des peaux brutes.

Country: Belgium    Date: 17/01/1983    Reference: Moniteur Belge le 27 janvier 1983

Text not found.


Fur origin labelling decree.

Country: Switzerland    Date: 01/03/2013    Reference: Swiss Federal Council of 7 December 2012

The Swiss Federal Council includes in this Fur origin labelling act also rabbit or hares. The zoolological name, the country of origin,whether the animal was hunt or bred and how it was catched.


Definition of the term leather compared to other materials.
Description instructions RAL 060 A 2.

Country: Germany    Date: 01/11/1998    Reference: Issue November 1998 RAL German Institute for Goods Assurance and Labelling

This “Standard” is not enshrined in a law but has the authority of a standard, notably in Courts. The definition of the term serves the purpose, on the one hand for leather products and on the other hand for products made from other materials, which in nature, structure, surface, appearance or in other properties are similar to leather, to make possible descriptions, which through truth and clarity eliminate/preclude any danger of misunderstanding and misleading in buying circles. It is valid therefore as the ground rule for the following descriptions, in so far as the danger exists that a not insignificant part of the possible trade circuit could be deceived about the identity or the properties of the processed materials. A material in a quote or purchase can only be described as leather, genuine leather or with an expression which according to the trade view refers to leather or a type of leather
(box calf, nappa, nubuck, morocco, etc), which has been manufactured from the unsplit or split animal skin or pelt through tanning retaining the fibres in their natural condition. For leather with a surface coating, respectively from synthetic material, foil or lacquer, the coating added must not be thicker that 0.15mm. Word connections with the term leather or with phrases, which according to commercial interpretation point to leather or a type of leather are inappropriate for materials similar to leather, which are not manufactured from animal skins or pelts. This is not valid for materials, where a confusion with leather is out of the question (eg Russia Leather for perfume/scent, parchment for writing paper is admissible). Word associations with the term leather are only permissible for accepted trade descriptions for leather fibreboard or Kunstleder. Products made from synthetic leather or with synthetic leather components must indicate the exact types of synthetic material.


WTO Notification G/TBT/N/UKR/73; Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine of 9 June 2011 No. 632 “On approving the technical regulation on labelling the materials used to manufacture the main components of footwear that go on sale”.

Country: Ukraine   Date: 04/04/2012

The regulatory act provides requirements for labelling of materials used to manufacture the main components of footwear that go on sale. The mentioned legal act is developed taking into account the Directive of the European Parliament and Council 94/11/EU of 23 March 1994 on the approximation of laws, regulations and administrative provisions of member States on the labelling of materials that are used to manufacture the main components of footwear that is being sold to the consumers (in English).
Laws of Ukraine “On standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures” and “On conformity assessment”, “On the general safety of Non-Food products”, “On State Market Supervision and control of Non-Food products”, the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine of 01.06.2011 No.573 “On the list of state market surveillance and areas of responsibility “(in Ukrainian).

Central American Community (Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras)

WTO Notification G/TBT/GTM/81 and related – Reglamento Técnico Centroamericano RTCA 61.01.03:12, Calzado y sus partes. Requisitos de etiquetado (Central American Technical Regulation (RTCA) No. 61.01.03:12: Footwear and parts thereof. Labelling requirements).

Country: Ukraine   Date: 04/04/2012

The notified Technical Regulation establishes the labelling requirements for footwear and parts thereof when sold separately in the territory of Central American countries. For the aspects non covered, such as the definition of the materials, relevant documents are: Norma Salvadoreña Obligatoria de Etiquetado de Calzado (Salvadoran Mandatory Standard on the labelling of footwear), NSR 61.01.02:00; Norma COGUANOR NGO 59 001, Etiquetado de Calzado (Guatemalan Standards Commission (COGUANOR) Mandatory Standard (NGO) No. 59 001: Labelling of footwear).

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