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Designation of origin is not mandatory

The text "Made in..." should provide information about the origin of textiles.

The European Parliament's attempts to regulate this have so far been unsuccessful

In our collaborative, globalised world, information regarding where an item of clothing was manufactured might be of interest to consumers in some cases.

Switzerland

On 1 January 2017, the “Swissness” model – i.e. the revised trademark protection law and the completely revised law on the protection of the Swiss coat of arms – came into force with a two-year transition period.

The specifications contained therein regarding the designation of origin are based on the definitive value content (in the case of textiles: at least 60% of the definitive manufacturing costs). Designating the origin nevertheless remains voluntary. By contrast, if the geographical term “Switzerland” is used in the broadest sense, the law must be fully taken into account.

EU

There has been a battle regarding the designation of origin within the EU for a number of years now: southern countries are for a compulsory “Made in…” designation on labels while northern states are against this.

In principle, the EU Parliament would like a compulsory designation of origin within the framework of the “product safety package” for all non-food products. These regulations primarily stipulate increased product safety and market surveillance in the interests of consumer protection. The objective of the “Made in” rule contained therein is to improve the traceability of goods and increase consumer protection.

Eleven economy and development ministers from various countries, including Italy, Portugal and Spain, suggested a compromise in 2016. This involves only products from the ceramics, shoe, textile and furniture industries being provided with labels. The key criterion with regard to the origin is that the country in which the last significant production stage took place (sewing the item together, for example) applies.

The EU regulation proposed would be contrary to the Swiss “Swissness” legislation (value criterion).

USA

In the USA, the authority to implement the “Made in USA” provisions on the basis of the “Reinforcing American-Made Products Act” (H.R. 5092) was transferred to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in June 2016. As a result of this, local provisions such as “California’s Made in USA” law became obsolete.

Countries that must designate the origin

List subject to change

Europe

Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Norway, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan

North America

Canada, USA

South America

Practically all states

Africa

Practically all states (exceptions: Angola, Libya and Tunisia)

Asia

Practically all states (exceptions: Hong Kong, Japan, Macao and Singapore)