The Government of Bolivia has no plan to increase tariff rates on import of apparel, Teresa Morales, Minister of Productive Development and Plural Economy, said at a press conference, La Razon reported.
The clarification from the Minister came a day after media reports that the Government of Bolivia is considering raising tariff rates on import of clothing. The reports attributed the statement to Luis Fernando Baudoin, the Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Exports.
At the press conference Minister Baudoin said that he had explained that the World Trade Organization puts an upper ceiling for import tariff at 40 percent, but there are countries that can impose tariffs up to 400 percent, but it does not mean that Bolivia would set a tariff of 400 percent on garments.
In June 2012, through Decree 1272, the Government of Bolivia increased the import tariff on garments and textiles from 30 percent to 40 percent, to protect the domestic industry and encourage the consumption of ‘Made in Bolivia’ products.
However, National Confederation of Micro and Small Enterprises (Conamype) has sought more measures from the Government to support, protect and promote the production of the domestic clothing industry.
Minister Baudoin explained that the Government is preparing a new labeling standard for garments, which will clearly mention all the components of the product, to regulate the quality of apparel entering the country.
According to the Bolivian Institute of Foreign Trade (IBCE), imports of textiles and apparel by Bolivia increased by 91 percent to US$ 219 million, during the six-year period from 2008 to 2013. Bolivia imported textiles and clothing worth $25 million in 2008, $22 million in 2009, $37 million in 2010, $39 million in 2011, $50 million in 2012, and $48 million in 2013.
From January to December 2013, China was the main supplier of textiles and garments to Bolivia with a share of 39 percent, followed by Brazil, Peru and Colombia, which contributed 23 percent, 12 percent and 8 percent share, respectively.