7 June 2024

Regulatory Labelling - NY car interiors bill wins the support of the international leather community

Image shows the interior of the 2024 Buick Encore GX Avenir.

The global leather sector will contribute to advocacy efforts to help a proposal in the state of New York to tighten up labelling for automotive interiors become law. By Leatherbiz.


A bill called the ‘Consumer protection and automotive transparency act’ is passing through the New York State legislature at the moment. If it becomes law, it will require automotive companies to label in a clear and truthful way the materials they use in vehicle interiors.

In the text of the bill, the legislators behind it say their aim is to make sure consumers are accurately informed about the materials in the interiors of automobiles. The text continues: “Consumers are often misled by the marketing of different types of materials used in making seating surfaces, steering wheels and gear-shifters in the automotive industry. This misleading marketing can result in consumers paying more for products that are not what they were expecting, or buying a product that they assume is a certain material and it is not.”

It is clear from the text of the bill that one of its priorities is to make sure consumers are given truthful information about claims around leather in vehicle interiors. It says any claims that car interiors contain leather must refer to “hide or skin products derived from animals that possess an intact original fibrous structure, obtained from hides tanned to prevent decay”.

ICT said it supported this definition because it is in keeping with the definitions for leather that European Union and international standards bodies use for leather. It noted that the reference to “intact original fibrous structure” would mean suppliers of reconstituted leather materials for car interiors would no longer be able to present these to consumers as leather.

The proposed legislation in New York State accepts that hides can be split before or after tanning and may have a coating applied. It also says that if the upholstery is composed of less than 70% leather, labels must define all the materials automotive companies have used by percentage.

In support of this, the International Council of Tanners (ICT) has said it will provide funding of $10,000 to try to make sure the bill becomes law in New York State. In addition, ICT member organisation, Germany’s VDL, has pledged a further $5,000 to support the same effort. The money will go to a New York-based advocacy organisation to help fund its work in support of the bill.

Please see separate story for the reasons why ICT is supporting this initiative.

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