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Monday, 04 October 2010

Country of origin markings to help European consumers

Goods should clearly state their country of origin, to help consumers to make informed choices, say MEPs. International Trade Committee MEPs on Wednesday approved a proposed EU-wide system of country of origin markings for goods imported from third countries, after amending it to allow the origin to be stated in English anywhere in the EU and to ensure that it applies only to goods destined for final consumers. MEPs also advocated introducing harmonised penalties for breaching the rules.
The proposed EU regulation, approved with 19 votes in favour, 2 against, with 2 abstentions, aim to ensure that customers are properly informed about a product's origin and also to protect them against possible health risks, counterfeiting and unfair competition. Parliament's rapporteur was Cristiana Muscardini (EPP, IT).

 "Made in" languages

 The words "made in", together with the country, must be stated "in a language that is easily understood by consumers in the Member State where the goods are to be marketed". MEPs inserted an amendment to allow the use of English, as a possible alternative, anywhere in the EU.

Packs, as well as goods

The country of origin must be marked on most goods, except where such marking would damage the goods, or is not possible for technical reasons. If goods are packaged, the origin marking should be placed on the package, as well as the goods.

Source: European Parliament