State Department spokesman Mark Toner on Thursday confirmed the United States is requiring products from Judea and Samaria to be labeled differently, but insisted this was not a new policy.
Speaking to reporters, Toner explained the decision to reissue the policy had been taken after complaints that some Judea and Samaria products had been mislabeled prior to U.S. import.
"U.S. Customs and Border Protection reissued guidance on their marking requirements," he said, according to the AFP news agency. "It in no way supersedes prior rulings or regulations.”
"And nor does it impose additional requirements with respect to merchandise imported from the West Bank, Gaza Strip or Israel," stressed Toner.
Earlier on Thursday, Channel 1 News revealed a mail from the Cargo Systems Messaging Service of the Customs and Border Protection dated to this Saturday, which shows the labeling requirement.
In new instructions on marking requirements sent out to American importers, goods from Judea and Samaria are not to be marked "Israel." Those who do not comply are to be sanctioned.
"Our understanding is that there were allegations of mislabeling, around nine or ten complaints," Toner said on Thursday, explaining why Customs had reissued its guidance.
"As you know, U.S. guidelines don't differentiate between products produced in settlements or anywhere else in the West Bank," he added.
The Obama administration gave support to the EU decision last November to label Jewish products from Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights.
And last week State Department spokesperson John Kirby indicated the Obama administration also supports the EU's controversial resolution from the day before, according to which EU agreements with Israel no longer apply over the 1949 Armistice lines.