What is Manufacturing Law?
Manufacturing Laws are those regulations and statutes that relate to the manufacturing industry. While much has been made of the decline of manufacturing in the U.S. over the past 50 years, the industry remains an important part of the American economy, and, as such, an important part of the American legal landscape. Manufacturing contributes nearly $2 trillion to the country’s gross domestic product annually. As such, there are significant amounts at stake in cases pertaining to manufacturing practices.
A major issue for some manufacturers, particularly automakers, is dealing with alleged product defects. These types of cases can be very lucrative for plaintiffs attorneys, so they are of prime interest to those specializing in personal injury and auto cases. An entire industry has grown up around the legal profession for these types of cases, including the experts and testing procedures necessary to determine whether the blame for an accident is the fault of a manufacturer or a driver.
Because of the changing face of American manufacturing, consolidation has been a trend for manufacturers for a number of years. As such, manufacturing laws can also be considered to bleed into the areas of corporate formation, governance, and mergers. When one company acquires or merges with another, it may not simply acquire its assets, but also any liability for the products it manufactured prior to the merger.
Advertising and Marketing
Another area manufacturers often have to be aware of is the law pertaining to marketing and advertising their products. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) monitors these matters and promulgates rules, such as what advertisements must say and what they must not, preventing false and misleading claims, standards for representations about “green” products, and so forth.
Employment and Labor
Of course, no product can reach the market without the labor of human beings. That means there is always an opportunity for issues related to employment and labor. Indeed, manufacturers are often prime targets for organized labor issues like unions, collective bargaining, and strikes.
The manufacturing industry faces many tough legal challenges and laws affecting these industries cross into many other areas of legal practice. For more information about manufacturing laws, please review the materials below. Additionally, you can find an attorney in your area who can assist you with your questions or claims by visiting our Law Firms page.
Manufacturing Law - US
- Bonded Manufacturing Warehouses
All articles manufactured in whole or in part of imported materials, or of materials subject to internal-revenue tax, and intended for exportation without being charged with duty, and without having an internal-revenue stamp affixed thereto, shall, under such regulations as the Secretary of the Treasury may prescribe, in order to be so manufactured and exported, be made and manufactured in bonded warehouses similar to those known and designated in Treasury Regulations as bonded warehouses.
- Chapter 85 - Air Pollution Prevention and Control - Clean Air Act
The United States Clean Air Act is a United States federal law enacted by the United States Congress to control air pollution on a national level. It requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop and enforce regulations to protect the general public from exposure to airborne contaminants that are known to be hazardous to human health. The Clean Air Act was passed in 1963 and significantly amended in 1970 and 1990. It is listed under the United States Code at 42 U.S.C. 7401
- Clean Water Act
The Clean Water Act focuses on improving the quality of the nation's waters. It provides a comprehensive framework of standards, technical tools and financial assistance to address the many causes of pollution and poor water quality, including municipal and industrial wastewater discharges, polluted runoff from urban and rural areas, and habitat destruction.
- EPA - Inspections and Evaluations
Inspections are visits to a facility or site (e.g., business, school, landfill) for the purpose of gathering information to determine whether it is in compliance. Inspections generally include pre-inspection activities such as obtaining general site information before entering the facility or site. Other activities that may be conducted during the on-site visit include: * interviewing facility or site representatives, * reviewing records and reports, * taking photographs, * collecting samples, and * observing facility or site operations.
- EPA - Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) became law on October 11, 1976 to became effective on January 1, 1977, except Section 4 (f) which took effect two years later. The Act authorized EPA to secure information on all new and existing chemical substances, as well as to control any of the substances that were determined to cause unreasonable risk to public health or the environment. Congress later added additional titles to the Act, with this original part designated at Title I - Control of Hazardous Substances.
- FDA - Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs)
"Good manufacturing practice" or "GMP" is part of a quality system covering the manufacture and testing of active pharmaceutical ingredients, diagnostics, foods, pharmaceutical products, and medical devices. GMPs are guidelines that outline the aspects of production and testing that can impact the quality of a product. Many countries have legislated that pharmaceutical and medical device companies must follow GMP procedures, and have created their own GMP guidelines that correspond with their legislation.
- Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA)
In 1996, Congress unanimously passed landmark pesticide food safety legislation supported by the Administration and a broad coalition of environmental, public health, agricultural and industry groups. President Clinton promptly signed the bill on August 3, 1996, and the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 became law (P.L. 104-170, formerly known as H.R. 1627).
- Manufacturing - Definition
Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale. Such finished goods may be used for manufacturing other, more complex products, such as aircraft, household appliances or automobiles, or sold to wholesalers, who in turn sell them to retailers, who then sell them to end users – the "consumers".
- Manufacturing and Services (MAS)
Manufacturing and Services (MAS) is dedicated to strengthening the global competitiveness of U.S. industry, expanding its market access, and increasing exports. MAS undertakes industry economic and trade policy analysis, shapes U.S. trade policy, participates in trade negotiations, organizes trade capacity building programs, and evaluates the impact of domestic and international economic and regulatory policies on U.S. manufacturers and service industries. MAS works with other U.S. Government agencies in developing a public policy environment that advances U.S. competitiveness at home and abroad.
- Manufacturing Law Center
The Manufacturing Law Center represents the interests of manufacturers in court. We monitor legal trends and developments affecting the ability of manufacturers to be treated fairly by the legal system. We are actively involved in tracking major lawsuits impacting manufacturers and in related activities to promote a fair and balanced legal system for resolving disputes. With manufacturers facing legal costs of some $865 billion annually, the efforts of the Manufacturing Law Center have a direct effect on the competitive position of American manufacturers and complement the NAM's legal reform policy endeavors.
- Mercury Export Ban Act
The Mercury Export Ban Act (PDF) (8 pp, 166K, About PDF) was signed into law on October 14, 2008. The Act includes provisions on both mercury exports and long-term mercury management and storage. Because the United States is ranked as one of the world's top exporters of mercury, implementation of the act will remove a significant amount of mercury from the global market. Currently, mercury is exported from the United States to foreign countries where it has various uses, including for use in small-scale gold (artisanal) mining. This use of mercury raises worker safety and environmental emissions issues. To aid in addressing these concerns, EPA has provided expertise to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)'s Global Mercury Project's artisanal mining project, which focuses on best management practices to reduce occupational exposure, emissions and mercury use.
- OSHA Regulations (Standards - 29 CFR)
Section 6(a) of the Williams-Steiger Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (84 Stat. 1593) provides that "without regard to chapter 5 of title 5, United States Code, or to the other subsections of this section, the Secretary shall, as soon as practicable during the period beginning with the effective date of this Act and ending 2 years after such date, by rule promulgate as an occupational safety or health standard any national consensus standard, and any established Federal standard, unless he determines that the promulgation of such a standard would not result in improved safety or health for specifically designated employees."
- Pollution Prevention Act
Pollution prevention (P2) is reducing or eliminating waste at the source by modifying production processes, promoting the use of non-toxic or less-toxic substances, implementing conservation techniques, and re-using materials rather than putting them into the waste stream. Since pollution prevention is a key policy in national environmental protection activities EPA has developed a 2010-2014 Pollution Prevention Program Strategic Plan.
- United States Manufacturing Enhancement Act
President Barack Obama on Wednesday signed into law a piece of legislation designed to ease costs for U.S. manufacturers by reducing tariffs on raw materials and other component parts not readily available in America.
Organizations Related to Manufacturing Law
- American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
As the voice of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) empowers its members and constituents to strengthen the U.S. marketplace position in the global economy while helping to assure the safety and health of consumers and the protection of the environment.
- American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)
ASTM’s leadership in international standards development is driven by the contributions of its members: more than 30,000 of the world’s top technical experts and business professionals representing 135 countries. Working in an open and transparent process and using ASTM’s advanced electronic infrastructure, ASTM members deliver the test methods, specifications, guides and practices that support industries and governments worldwide.
- FDA - Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience (MAUDE)
MAUDE data represents reports of adverse events involving medical devices. The data consists of voluntary reports since June 1993, user facility reports since 1991, distributor reports since 1993, and manufacturer reports since August 1996. MAUDE may not include reports made according to exemptions, variances, or alternative reporting requirements granted under 21 CFR 803.19.
- International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
ISO is a non-governmental organization that forms a bridge between the public and private sectors. On the one hand, many of its member institutes are part of the governmental structure of their countries, or are mandated by their government. On the other hand, other members have their roots uniquely in the private sector, having been set up by national partnerships of industry associations.
- National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the preeminent US manufacturers association as well as the nation’s largest industrial trade association, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs nearly 12 million workers, contributes more than $1.6 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, is the largest driver of economic growth in the nation and accounts for the lion’s share of private sector research and development.
- National Council for Advanced Manufacturing - Sustainable Manufacturing
Borrowing from the United Nations’ definition of sustainable development Sustainable manufacturing “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Department of Commerce Definition “Sustainable manufacturing is defined as the creation of manufactured products that use processes that are non-polluting, conserve energy and natural resources, and are economically sound and safe for employees, communities, and consumers.”
- NSF - Public Health and Safety
NSF offers programs and services to support legislators and regulators, to increase the awareness and knowledge of public health by professional associations, and to help raise the bar when it comes to safety, health and quality for industry. NSF Regulatory Affairs provides regulators with copies of NSF standards, information on facility registrations and product certification programs, answers to code questions, and product listing verifications to ensure that regulated products meet national standards or other prescribed requirements.
Publications Related to Manufacturing Law
- Manufacturing Close Up
This publication is part of the BNET Business Library, offering business articles from both trade and general-interest periodicals. It is the perfect resource for the business manager in any field.
- MFG Watch Quarterly Survey of North American Manufacturers
Founded in 2000, MFG.com is the largest global online marketplace for manufacturers looking to source custom parts, standard components, assemblies and textiles. MFG.com has revolutionized the way parts get sourced, bringing tremendous efficiencies to its users that they could have never imagined before. Since 2000, billions in sourcing opportunities have been enabled by MFG.com.
Articles on HG.org Related to Manufacturing Law
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Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Business and Industry including: agency and distributorship, agency law, business and industry, business formation, business law, commercial law, contracts, corporate governance, corporate law, e-commerce, food and beverages law, franchising, industrial and manufacturing, joint ventures, legal economics, marketing law, mergers and acquisitions, offshore services, privatization law, retail, shareholders rights and utilities.