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US begins to label settlement products as ‘Made in Israel’

Policy shift was announced by Pompeo during unprecedented recent visit to a West Bank winery; unclear if Biden administration will uphold it

By TOI STAFF and JACOB MAGID
December 24, 2020

US Customs and Border Protection on Wednesday said an order requiring goods made in Israeli-controlled areas of the West Bank to be labeled as “Made in Israel” has come into effect.

The policy shift was announced by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in November following an unprecedented visit to a West Bank settlement, where he visited a winery. It’s unclear whether the incoming Biden administration will uphold the order.

Since 1995, US policy has required products made in the West Bank and Gaza to be labeled as such. That directive was republished in 2016 by the Obama administration, which warned that labeling goods as “made in Israel” could lead to fines. Prior to the Oslo Accords, however, all products manufactured in these areas were required to mention Israel in their label when exporting to the United States.

With Pompeo’s newly announced rules, which he said were “consistent with our reality-based foreign policy approach,” all producers within areas where Israel exercises authority — most notably Area C under the Oslo Accords – will be required to mark goods as Israeli-made.

“This document notifies the public that, for country of origin marking purposes, imported goods produced in the West Bank, specifically in Area C under the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement (the Oslo Accords), signed on September 28, 1995, and the area known as ‘H2’ under the Israeli-Palestinian Protocol Concerning Redeployment in Hebron and Related Documents (the Hebron Protocol), signed January 17, 1997, must be marked to indicate their origin as ‘Israel,’ ‘Product of Israel,’ or ‘Made in Israel,’” the US Customs notice said.

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