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What Are Country of Origin Labeling Requirements


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Understanding U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Requirements

What is the Country of Origin Labeling Requirement?

CBP mandates that all imported products in the United States must be labeled with their country of origin.

Why is Country of Origin Labeling Necessary?

  • To ensure that products can be legally imported.
  • To provide valuable statistics on imported goods for the U.S. economic market.
  • To help protect consumers by enabling them to make informed decisions about their purchases.

What are the Specific Regulations for Country of Origin Labeling?

Every foreign product entering the U.S. must be labeled in English with the country of origin, and the marking must be clear, visible, legible, and permanent.

Are There Exceptions to the Country of Origin Labeling Requirement?

  • Products not intended for resale.
  • Products that are incapable of being marked, e.g., very small items.
  • Products produced more than 20 years before importation.
  • Crude substances.
  • Products that would be ruined if directly marked upon, like fruit.

What Happens If You Fail to Comply with Country of Origin Labeling?

Failure to comply can result in penalties or other enforcement actions.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

  • Special marking duties of up to 10% of the product's total value.
  • Delays in releasing goods.
  • False certification penalties that can equal the total value of the merchandise.
  • Civil penalties, potentially up to $50,000 per occurrence.
  • Criminal penalties if the country of origin is intentionally misrepresented.

How to Avoid Penalties for Non-Compliance

Ensure that products are properly marked with their country of origin.

Final Thoughts on Country of Origin Labeling

Complying with these requirements is essential to avoid significant financial consequences and other enforcement actions.

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