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MEPs back country of origin labelling

Luxury brands will face renewed pressure to keep production in Europe following a landslide vote in the European Parliament in favour of proposed legislation to make ‘Made in’ labelling compulsory.

Last month, 525 MEPs voted for the proposed law, with 49 against and 44 abstentions. The legislation would make it obligatory for all product imported into the EU to state the country where it last underwent a significant transformation. Details of the legislation must still be thrashed out before it is formally passed, and sources said there was unlikely to be any progress before mid-2011.

The law change would buoy luxury brands which still source from the countries from where they originate, but would come as a blow to brands that source some or all product from developing countries.

Harrods fashion and beauty director Marigay McKee said: “In the luxury market country of origin is of the utmost importance to the saleability of a garment.”

However, many brands only make key pieces in Europe and secure more basic items from further afield. For instance, Burberry still makes its formal trench coats in the UK but it has closed its other UK factories.

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