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Algeria bans used clothing import to save local firms
Dec '11
The Northwest African country of Algeria has banned the import of used clothing into the country in its bid to save the country's domestic firms.

The Algerian Parliament has passed the 2012 Finance Act which outlaws the import of used garments to protect the country's local textile and garment manufacturing as well as guarding public health against the risks posed by used clothing.

The latest measure is likely to impact around 25,000 people involved in Algeria's used clothing trade.

The new law will also affect thousands of citizens who cannot afford to purchase new clothes, and hence opt to buy used garments, as these give good value at affordable prices, said Chairman of used clothing importers association.

Meanwhile, the used clothing retailers association has rejected the argument that used clothing possesses health risks, and said that importers have invested in latest machines to process the used clothes and remove the risks of illness or contamination.

On the other hand, the National Federation of Textile and Leather Workers has defended the Government's measure as the one that people wanted, and added that the step would boost the country's textile and garment industry and provide it with a chance to flourish.

Algeria has 146 used clothing importers and 3,000 wholesalers, in addition to thousands of other people who are directly or indirectly associated with the trade. These people are planning to hold demonstrations across the country in the coming days.

As the used clothing sales was a thriving business in Algeria, traders are also shocked and unhappy with the Government's decision. They say, the sales have been booming as it was attracting not only the poor people, but also middle-class consumers who find some items of their choice in used clothing, which is otherwise very difficult to find in outlets selling new garments.

Finance Minister Karim Djoudi said it had cost DZD 60 billion to clean up the country's textile sector and now there is a need to create added value to domestic products rather than import more.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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