Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Regulation on mandatory marking of origin

Delivered in Plenary - 17th Janaury 2013

Mr President

Is it vitally necessary to stamp ‘made in the UK’ on every product made in my country? Although emotionally appealing, this proposed regulation is all about compulsion, rarely welcomed by business. It can add to commercial costs without providing a durable consumer benefit.

One problem is the accuracy of country-of-origin marking in the first place. One has to take into account the complexity of production and supply chains in a globalised world and ask whether the costs from compulsion would make mandatory origin-marking a reasonable thing for business.

What effect would the implementation of this regulation have on open and fair trade with third countries? I am not alone in my concerns. The Council did not reach a common position on the proposal, and the Commission announced that it will withdraw the regulation. We need to understand why the proposal was withdrawn and what the Commission is going to do next. Whatever it is, it must undergo a full economic impact assessment for agri-business before going ahead.