BARRIERS TO TRADE: Brazil increases import duty on viscose staple yarns

Brazil notified its intention to increase its import duty “erga omnes” on viscose staple yarns (CN code 5510 11) from the applied 18% to 25% as from 25 September ( in addition of  an existing anti-dumping duty on that product!). At that level of tariff, Brazil is still in the limit of their bound tariff for textiles and clothing products to the WTO (35%), and thus there is no infringement with respect to the WTO.

Furthermore, as Brazil intends to increase tariff only on that textile product and no other one, there is few argument to oppose, all the more so that we know that Brazil is still studying the possibility to implement a safeguard duty on apparel imports on top of their import duty on apparel which is already at 35%, the maximum bound at WTO, and the Government of Brazil is studying all other mean to protect its domestic textile-clothing industry from external competition.

It means the injury for EU producers-exporters, i.e. the importance of viscose yarns exported by the EU to Brazil (about 50% of EU export to world are to Brazil). There are few viscose yarns producers in the EU, the biggest by far being Austria (with LINZ and LENZING concerned for its fibers’s outlets), but apparently also some in Germany, and to a lesser extent  in Spain and Poland, according to EUROCOTON production data.

This is a clear reaction to the final decision about NO Anti Dumping duties for precisely this Viscose yarn imported to Brazil from Turkey, the second largest importer of this stuff to Brazil. After they imposed duties for yarn imports from Austria, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan and China at end of 2009, the Brazilian authorities tried to impose AD-duties for the imports from Turkey now. But they failed end August.

Additional there are two further non tariff measures to hinder imports of textiles to Brazil:

1)       Extended custom clearance law: the authorities are allowed to make extended custom clearance for

textile products and keep the containers up to 90 days in the harbours.

2)       Brazil has a list of products with a “minimum price” that is a non official list because it is illegal to the

WTO rules. If you offer below this price you will not get the approval for the import licence.

All these decisions are based on the influence and power of one single textile imperium, which is producing everything from fibers to ready made clothes. Out of their rows are the presidents of the different textile manufacturing associations and so they have the political influence. Life and rules are so easy outside EU….

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