The Made in Britain label found on a range of UK manufactured goods could be under threat following an EU proposal that the country of origin is determined by the most expensive element in a product.
Designed to shake up market rules, the proposal would allow a “Made In” label to be displayed only if at least 45 per cent of a product’s “value content” comes from the country specified.
Under current EU rules, products’ country of origin is defined as the place where they “underwent their last, substantial, economically justified process or working”.
Iconic British manufacturers including Rolls-Royce, jewellers Asprey, and Brompton bicycles may have to alter its marketing as a result of the changes or risk incurring costly fines.
Simon Rainer, chief executive of the British Jewellers’ Association, said: “The new proposals are typical of the EU’s one-size-fits-all approach.
“The penalties for non-compliance may be huge, possibly in the region of 10 per cent of turnover.”
The proposal has been met with opposition by both the UK and Germany, but has found support from Italy, Spain and Portugal.
Kate Hills of Make It British, which promotes the buying and manufacturing of British goods, said: “Hopefully this stupid EU idea will go nowhere – the German’s are also pretty unhappy about it – but if it does come to fruition it makes me wonder whether I should just pack this all up and go home!”
However, a European Commission spokesman denied the claims about the label being in danger, and stated the move would see it better protected legally.