Spain is working to tackle an onslaught of fake textile and apparel imports as it struggles to shore up its local industry, just-style has learnt.

The Observatorio Textil, a textiles forum comprising industry and government officials, is rushing to strengthen central and regional Government cooperation to improve custom inspections. It has also called for the European Union to help in the matter.

The Observatorio said 70% of products reaching Spain's shores breach labelling regulations. The majority of them come from China and many enter the country through the port of Valencia in eastern Spain.

"Many products are not what their labels say they are," an Observatorio spokeswoman told just-style today.

Textile imports - stemming mostly from China, Turkey and Italy - have risen 12% so far this year and could surpass last year's 16% increase, elevating the industry's trade deficit to EUR5bn (US$6.9bn), according to top trade lobby Consejo Intertextil Espanol.

Spain's textiles and apparel industry continues to scramble to improve its fortunes after an Asian import blitz has ruined many companies.

In 2006, producers continued to suffer as low-cost Chinese imports hurt sales and rising production costs - triggered by power price increases shrunk margins, according to a CIE statement.

Spain's textile and apparel production rates have fallen 32% since 2000.