Thursday, 19 January 2012
German Label At Risk
The Germans aren't happy with the European Union.
An EU Commissioner, Algirdas Semeta, plans to restrict the sought after 'Made In Germany' label to products where at least 45% of the value content comes from Germany.
Until now, EU rules defined the country of origin as the place where 'the last substantial, economically justified processing' took place. Under that rule, products labelled 'Made In Germany' today can be almost completely produced abroad but given their finishing touches in a German factory.
The stricter definition plan has angered Germany's industry lobby and the President of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) stated:"If in the future the origin and value of materials are considered crucial, many products will no longer be considered German." He predicted the changes would inflict 'immense damage' on the German economy. He's probably correct.
The final decision on the controversial amendment to product origin rules has yet to be taken. The move must first be approved by member country governments before taking effect.
Will Britain approve it? It shouldn't matter much because the UK no longer manufactures much. The Germans will put up a strong fight though - they have so much more to lose.