MEPs call for 'made in' labels for clothes to be compulsory

MEPs call for 'made in' labels for clothes to be compulsory

Country of origin labels should become compulsory for clothes sold in Europe so that consumers are not misled by labels suggesting they were made in an EU member state, the European Parliament said on May 18 2010, approving an update of the EU clothes labelling scheme.MEPs approved a report on the issue by 528 votes to 18, with 108 abstentions, the European Parliament said in a media statement.The only way to ensure that consumers are not deceived by labels implying clothes were made in the EU when they were in fact made in a third country is to make "made in" labels mandatory, MEPs decided."Made in" labels are currently voluntary in the EU but in practice their use depends on national laws. In comparison, country of origin labelling is strictly regulated in, for example, the United States, Canada and Japan.New textiles to hit the market faster Current EU legislation on textile labelling applies only to the harmonisation of textile fibre names - there are currently 48 fibres (18 natural and 30 synthetic) sold on the single market - and the labelling of the fibre composition of textile products.Although the European Parliament initially was asked to vote only on a technical proposal by the European Commission (aiming at cutting the time taken to place new fibres on the market), MEPs turned this into a more political proposal, to make country of origin labelling mandatory in the new regulation, the statement said.EU legislation: new labelling requirements may be neededTo help consumers to make informed choices, MEPs also asked the European Commission to produce a report within two years, and if necessary a proposal for legislation to impose the new labelling requirements EU-wide.This report should examine the harmonised requirements on care labelling (currently voluntary), clothing and footwear sizes, on health and safety warnings (flammability, possible allergenic substances) and on social labelling.  

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