Country of origin labeling issues can be exceedingly complex, as we have noted before. Several manufacturers have recently paid multi-million dollar settlements for alleged misstatements about their products’ country of origin, under the Trade Agreements Act (TAA) and False Claims Act (FCA). As described by Reed Smith attorneys Larry Sher, Larry Block and Jeffrey Orenstein in “Medical Device Companies Face Severe FCA Penalties for TAA Violations,” the TAA requires that entities selling certain products to the U.S. government be responsible for identifying the products’ country of origin and ensuring that it is either the United States or one of the designated countries with which the United States has special trade agreements. Falsely certifying products as being TAA-compliant can result in sizeable civil and criminal penalties for entities under the FCA, and can attract attention both from purported whistleblowers and the Department of Justice.
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