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07.07.2014

Is Germany losing its trademark “Made in Germany“?

The applied marking “Made in Germany“ is the best known and most recognized quality seal for German quality products worldwide. It has been accompanying the successful prosperity offensive “German export miracle” for more than 60 years.

"Made in Germany": German seal of approval for quality products for 60 years. © tl6781 - Fotolia.com

It is often not understood that the advertising “Made in Germany“ comes into play even when there is no “Made in Germany“ label applied, since all goods from Germany or under a well-known German logo are recognized as “Made in Germany”.

If a mandatory labelling with “Made in ...“ would be prescribed, a large number of European and international suppliers would turn into a negative criterion – a big loss for the German exporting companies.

The vote of the European Parliament on April 15, 2014 showed a surprisingly large majority of more than 400 parliamentarians who argued in support of the mandatory “Made in…” Thus, the EU Council of Ministers remains to be the last hurdle before this project of the EU Commission is finally implemented. Although it is currently expected to be rejected, the development of the second half year of 2014 in particular needs to be closely monitored. Italy will then occupy the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and have sovereignty over the agenda. A look at history reveals the importance of this constellation: already during the last Italian Presidency ten years ago, the country was the driving force behind a compulsory “Made in …” label in Europe.

There are many good reasons not to burden the economy with new labelling regulations. The import regulations of many countries already include mandatory declaration of origin. There is also a proof of origin and supplier declarations under the free trade agreement. There is further divergence to the preferential movement of goods which regulates a beneficial duty regulation of imported goods and is overseen by customs. Many of these rules are not compatible with the aspiration of a planned European imposed “Made in …“ label requirement.

In particular, the quality and safety aspect doesn´t have a role at any of these customs regulations (preferential and non-preferential origin). Therefore, it appears to be even more confusing that EU Commission is planning on making the “Made in ..“ label mandatory at the revised version of the product safety directive and connecting it to customs regulations.

ZVEI urges to refrain from modifying well-established labelling requirements into compulsory origin marking.  

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