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28 Apr 2014

Made In EU

Made In EU

On the 15th April the European Parliament voted that manufacturers should be required to label all non-food goods with their country of origin.

 

The proposal may give customers in the future a better chance to tell whether a product advertised as “Made in Britain” really was made in Britain or assembled abroad. As it stands currently, country of origin labels used by companies are done so on a voluntary basis, with no central body setting standards or in charge of handing out the label. This new law will only apply to non-food goods with a few exceptions, such as the labelling of medicines.   

To determine the country of origin the new regulation refers to current provisions of the Council Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92 establishing a Community Customs Code.  According to the new regulations, the country of origin will be the one where the product underwent its last, substantial, economically justified processing.  If companies produce across several European countries they can opt for a “Made in the EU” label.

This new strict specification by the EU intends to improve the consistency of the rules regulating customer products identification and traceability, whilst also improving the way authorities can check products and enforce product safety rules across the European Union.

A group of 16 member states from Northern and Eastern Europe, including Britain and Germany, have already said they will block the European parliament’s proposal from being adopted in the European Council.

Some reports have suggested that redefining the country of origin could potentially have a serious impact on the marketing of famous brands that use foreign components or assemble their products outside the EU. For example Rolls-Royce uses engines from Germany and Materials from around the World. However a spokesman for the company said that they would be unconcerned by a legal redefinition stating “We get our leather from Alpine cows, and source our veneers from South America because that wood has a particular appeal; however the vehicle   is designed by a Brit, and built by British craftsman in the Sussex Downs, so it’s an inherently British brand.”

 

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