Goods from Jewish communities in Yehudah and Shomron that are sold in the United States must be labeled as “product of Israel” or similar starting Wednesday, under a new Federal Register Notice issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The new guidelines were drawn up after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the decision during a visit to the region last month.
Up until Wednesday, products from Yehudah and Shomron could not be marked with Israel as the country of origin, as it was considered misleading for consumers. The change in U.S. policy in effect erases the distinction between goods produced by Israelis on either side of the Green Line, the Israeli border prior to the Six Day War.
According to the notice, the change reflects “guidance from the U.S. Department of State that the country of origin marking requirements for goods produced in certain areas of the West Bank be updated to reflect the fact that producers in these areas operate within the economic and administrative framework of Israel.”
The notice, which was published Wednesday in the Federal Register, grants importers a 90-day transition period to implement the change in policy.
According to the notice, goods from Area C, which under the Oslo Accords was under exclusive Israeli control, must be marked to indicate their origin as “Israel,” “Product of Israel” or “Made in Israel.” Goods from Area A and Area B, which are under full Palestinian control and under Israeli security control and Palestinian civil control, respectively, must be marked “West Bank,” “product of West Bank” or “made in West Bank.” Goods from the Gaza Strip must be marked as such.
The U.S. decision does not affect exports from Yehudah and Shomron to the European Union, the origin of which must be labeled as “Israeli settlements.”
During his time in the region, Pompeo visited the Psagot Winery, becoming the first U.S. secretary of state to visit an Israeli community in the Shomron.