Last updated: 11 April, 2013

South Africa requires labels on goods from occupied Palestinian territories

South Africa has imposed new rules requiring goods imported from occupied Palestinian territories display special labels, a government official said Thursday.

“We have all agreed that goods must be labelled from where they are coming from, so that consumers can make informed choice,” Sidwell Medupe, spokesman for the Department of Trade and Industry told AFP.

“According to our consumer protection act, we say consumers have the right to know the origins of the goods.”

Goods will no longer carry generic “Made in Israel” labels but instead will have to be specific showing their exact origin.

Medupe said goods coming from Gaza, will be labelled Gaza-Israel goods while those made in the West Bank will be labelled West Bank-Israeli goods. Imports from Jerusalem will be tagged East Jerusalem-Israeli goods.

A government notice requiring that such products are clearly marked to inform consumers that the origin is not Israel, will be published by next week, said Medupe.

The plan had last year met protests in South Africa and was slammed by Israel’s foreign ministry.

But Medupe said local Jewish leaders are now in agreement with the move. The Jewish community in South Africa had last year expressed outrage over the plans they called “discriminatory, divisive”.

“Everybody has accepted that consumers have a right to know the origins of their goods so that they can make a choice to buy or not to buy them,” said Medupe.