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Imports (Verification Of Labelling)

Volume 301: debated on Wednesday 26 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with importers handling goods labelled "Made in Israel" on measures to verify their attribution. [17542]

In a notice to importers, published in the Official Journal of the European Communities on 8 November, the European Commission advised importers of serious doubts about the validity of all preferential certificates issued by Israel, for all products. HM Customs and Excise have given this notice wide publicity through trade associations and journals.Within the framework of the EC-Israel Agreement, Customs are carrying out inquiries to establish the true origin of a wide range of products imported from Israel. The Subjects of these inquiries include fruit juice. Customs experts from all Member States will meet shortly to discuss what further measures can be taken to verify Israeli origin declarations. EC officials will meet Israel representatives soon, following consultations with Member States, to seek a solution to this problem.