In order to protect the Colombian apparel industry from unfair competition, the Government has announced extension of the apparel import tariff law for two years after partial modification arrived at after an agreement was reached between manufacturers and traders.
During the Dialogues of Management at the Ministry of Commerce, President Juan Manuel Santos announced that the current import tariff measures as applied through Decree 074 will continue.
Decree 074 of Customs Tariff, which has been implemented since March 1, 2013, imposed a uniform tariff of US$5 per kg on overall textiles and apparel imports to the country and reduced the tax on imports from 15 percent to 10 percent.
The President said that new tariff was imposed about a year ago to protect the domestic clothing industry from unfair competition. This tariff has impacted positively to the production of garments, he added.
He said the Government wants to continue the measure and added that it would not affect those who import at real prices, but would harm those who import at artificially lower prices or through smuggling.
Subsequently, in the presence of the President and Commerce Minister Santiago Rojas, María del Mar Palau, Deputy Minister of Enterprise Development, briefed about the scope of the extension of the import tariff measure to protect the local garment industry.
“The threshold value would be $10 per kilo of clothing, and all garments below that value would continue to pay the current mixed tariff of 10 percent plus $5 per kilo of clothing. Garments that are priced above $10 per kilo would have to pay tariff at 10 percent plus $3 per kilo,” explained Deputy Minister Palau.
She added that earlier all the garments were taxed uniformly and it did not allow import of certain products that were not produced in Colombia, as it was not available to consumers at competitive prices.
The new measure would allow imports of products in accordance with formal trade tariff levels of the World Trade Organization (WTO), i.e. the effective tariff should not exceed 40 percent, she explained.