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Australian-Made products 'open to exploitation'

12-05-2014
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in 

Some manufacturers may be exploiting the term “Australian Made”, an industry leader claims.

Mr Michael Pawson, managing director of ReCoila, a leading hose and cable reel company, says industry needs to learn more about the term Australian-Made.
“The importance in supporting Australian-Made can never be understated, yet the term itself may need some closer investigation,” he says.

Mr Pawson says his company, which supplies products locally and overseas, constantly battles fierce competition from imported products, many of which are inferior to locally manufactured items.

“With the overall local component of manufacture effectively disguised, end-users are exposed to potentially inferior products on the belief they are in fact quality locally made product.”
This can lead to unexpected maintenance costs, warranty costs and failure costs as well as “other headaches.”

Mr Pawson says education should be encouraged about the true stipulations of Australian-Made and how it is potentially open to various degrees of exploitation.
“Local industry should buy local product, he says.

“It is our obligation for the future success of local industry, local employment and technological advancement in the global market. Those supporting this ethical approach to succession should have faith that when purchasing Australian Made it truly is Australian Made and the buck stops here.”

Australian Made Campaign Chief Executive Ian Harrison says the green-and-gold Australian Made kangaroo logo is Australia’s registered certification trademark for country-of-origin claims.
The logo is trusted by 88 percent of Australians to identify genuine Aussie products, over and above claims made in writing or use of maps and flags.

Mr Harrison said the specifications for making a country-of-origin claim on a manufactured product in Australia differs by product category.
“But two rules remain constant – it must be substantially transformed in Australia and 50% or more of the cost of production must be incurred in Australia as well, he said.

“While goods may contain some imported components, they must have been manufactured or processed in Australia – not simply packaged or assembled – and a significant proportion of the cost of making the product must be incurred in Australia too.”

As a certification trademark, the Australian Made logo is governed by a Code of Practice, which sets out the guidelines for its use.

Companies must agree to comply with the Code of Practice in order to be issued with a license, and each year the product’s licence must be reviewed and approved.

The Australian Made Campaign also engages in random audits annually, and all complaints are investigated. If necessary, a company using the logo unlawfully will be taken to court.

Fines for misuse of country-of-origin claims can exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars.

To learn more visit: www.australianmade.com.au

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