Weatherford Democrat

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September 8, 2013

Import labels at issue in ICE’s store searches

Warrants connected to fed’s Aug. 28 actions at local businesses made public

(Continued)

Walker noted that a 2011 catalog on the Bar H website did not display any foreign country of origin information and stated that “The manufacturing and distribution of quality saddles and tack started in early 2000 and continues today in Parker County, Texas with Bar H Equine.”

When a special agent visited Bar H Equine in June, the Bar H branded products observed during the visit did not have country of origin labels, Walker wrote. The manager reportedly told the ICE agent that most of their equestrian tack was “made overseas, just so you know,” and that the company’s saddles are all made in Greenville.

Terri Howard, president of Bar H Equine, a family company celebrating its fourth year, said they weren’t aware of the labeling requirements.

“It’s about the country of origin and where it’s placed on the tag,” Howard said of the allegations. “I just didn’t realize where it needed to be on the tag next to the UPC code. We were unaware of that. All they did was tell me what I needed to do and we fixed that and I did business that very same day.”

“We’re just a small little family company,” Howard said, adding that Teskey’s and Bar H have been lumped together.

“Our deal is pretty much something that we didn’t know,” Howard said. “We were told exactly how it needs to be done and, within one minute, we slapped it on there and were able to go back to business as usual.”

Not every product that was shipped to retailers was marked, Howard said, adding that as a new company they didn’t know how things were done and didn’t know the tags that came through customs needed to continue on.

Howard said retailers didn’t know that the labels about the country of origin needed to be affixed to products for sale, either.

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