New rules being considered by the EU could see 'Made in Britain' labels disappearing from our products.
The new rules would result in the country of origin being deemed as the one that supplies the most valuable part of the product in question. 'A handbag designed and produced in England but using Italian leather would have to be labelled “Made In Italy”' says the Express.
This would mean that manufacturers that assemble products in this country might not be able to label them as 'Made in Britain'. The rules currently say that an item comes from the place they “underwent their last, substantial, economically justified process or working”.
The proposal is that only if 45% of the 'value content' of a product comes from one country would it be eligible for being labelled as made there.
So presumably anything containing precious metals or jewels would be labelled as made in the country where the base components were mined. Or would it be where the jewels were cut or the precious metals shaped?
But what of the assembly procedure. What is the good of sheets of metal or hide, or piles of jewels if they are not assembled properly into a quality lasting product.
Take a watch for example. A diamond encrusted gold wristband with a platinum case containing a watch mechanism from Taiwan, as opposed to the same wristband and case containing a Swiss movement. Where would you consider each of those to be 'made'? Which country would it be best to describe where it was 'made'?
And surely design and finish add a huge amount of value to a product? Not to mention a designer label where just stitching one in seems to increase the item's value at least tenfold.
At the end of the day it is up to the marketers what they put on the product. All they have to say is component parts from X and assembled in Y or something along those lines that satisfies the lawyers.
But how important is a "Made in Xxxx' label compared by a 'Made by Xxxxx' label these days? Is it the country where the car was made that is important, or the marque?