China is to reduce import taxes by more than 50% on some consumer goods, including apparel, in a bid to encourage an increase in domestic spending.

The country's Ministry of Finance said yesterday (25 May) it will lower import taxes on products such as Western-style suits and fur garments, boots, and sports shoes from 1 June.

The move is intended to boost imports, promote domestic consumption, and satisfy strong consumer demand for certain imported products.

Suit and fur clothing import duty will be reduced from 14-23% to 7-10%, and short boots and sports shoes from 22-24% down to 12%.

The decision follows a State Council meeting in April, during which the proposal was raised to reducing import tariffs on some consumer goods to boost domestic spending.

In the announcement, the Ministry said the reduction should be "conducive to a reasonable increase in imports and promote [a] domestic consumption upgrade", which it said will "benefit people's livelihood" and "promote the upgrading of domestic industries".

According to market consultancy Bain & Co, Chinese consumers spent CNY380bn (US$61.3bn) on luxury products last year, China Daily wrote. Around 55% of the purchases were made in overseas markets, and another 15% were completed by daigou (overseas retail agents). Less than a third of the luxury purchases were made through Chinese mainland brick-and-mortar shops or online platforms.