MEPs Seek Mandatory "Made-in" Labeling to Boost Product Safety

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | April 16, 2014, Wednesday // 12:12
Bulgaria: MEPs Seek Mandatory "Made-in" Labeling to Boost Product Safety Photo by EPA/BGNES

The European Parliament voted Tuesday to make "Made-in" labelling mandatory for non-food products sold on the single market.

The EP voted on plans to tighten up product safety requirements and market surveillance rules so as to strengthen consumer protection in the EU.

Parliament also demanded tougher penalties for firms selling non-compliant or potentially dangerous products, according to a media statement of the EP.

The MEPs who backed the European Commission's proposal that mandatory "made-in "labelling in Europe for non-food products replace the current voluntary system argued the measure would improve the traceability of goods and thus strengthen consumer protection.

According to statistics provided by the EP, around 10% of goods picked up by the EU's RAPEX alert system cannot be traced back to the manufacturer.

Under the new rules, the "made in" labeling should apply to almost all goods sold on the internal market, with a few exceptions such as medicines. Under the proposal, EU manufacturers would be able to choose whether to put "made in EU" on the label or name their country.

For goods produced in more than one place, the "country of origin" would be that where it underwent "the last substantial, economically justified processing" resulting in a "new product" or representing "an important stage of manufacture" (as defined in the EU Customs Code).

Under the proposal, the EC should draw up a public EU-wide blacklist of firms which are "repeatedly found to intentionally infringe" EU product safety rules. Besides, a pan-European database on product related injuries suffered by consumers is to be created.

The European Parliament voted at the first reading to ensure that the work done during this mandate can be taken up by the new Parliament and used as a basis for further negotiations with EU member states.

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Tags: European parliament, European Commission (EC), EP, EC, MEPs, consumer protection
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