Russia has reiterated its threat of a ban on the imports of clothing from western countries

Russia has reiterated its threat of a ban on the imports of clothing from western countries

Russia may ban imports of clothing from the European Union (EU) and the United States if western countries implement a new package of sanctions against Russia, just-style has again been told.

"We have a number of non-agricultural products, where our European partners are more dependent on Russia than Russia on them," Andrei Belousov, an aide to President Vladimir Putin, said.

"The ministry of economic development has already prepared a next package of retaliatory sanctions to western sanctions. Among them are expected to be the imposition of a ban on the imports of clothing from western countries."

Among the apparel products likely to be banned are suits, shirts, T-shirts, sweaters, cardigans and shawls - although a final list has yet to be drafted, according to officials at Russia's ministry of industry and trade.

According to ministry trade data, clothing imports from the EU and the US make up an estimated 20% of Russia's total imports for the sector. Traditionally, such imports account for the most expensive, high-margin production.

Anna Lebsak-Kleimans, CEO of Fashion Consulting Group International, an influential Russia-based group of experts on fashion and apparel, noted this would mainly hit Russia's high-end market.

"In the case of the adoption of a new package of sanctions, restrictions will mainly affect the premium segment, as the majority of EU production is positioned in this segment. This will have a negative effect as local producers will not be able to replace them. At the same time, sanctions will not have a negative effect on the middle-priced and budget segment of the market," she said.

In an 11 August decree, the Russian government ordered that public procurement from overseas of textiles, knitwear, nonwovens and some clothing should cease from 1 September.

The ban would cover purchases of textiles, clothing and related inputs by the Russian federal government and municipalities, but exclude imports from Belarus and Kazakhstan - the other two countries within the Russia-led Eurasian Customs Union.

It covers imports of fabrics; made-up textile articles, except apparel; ropes, cords and net; nonwoven materials and products, except clothing; knitted cloths, hosiery, pullovers, cardigans; overalls; top clothes; underwear and fur products.

just-style first reported on Russian threats to ban imports of clothing and textiles from the EU and the US back in August. Click on the following link to read: RUSSIA: Threatens ban on western apparel and textile imports.