Chinese officials have introduced a number of new restrictions for textile and apparel companies seeking to export to the EU next year, as part of measures intended to prevent a surge of shipments once temporary quotas are lifted on 31 December.

The China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textiles, China National Textile and Apparel Council, and China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment, announced the plans yesterday (17 October) - one week after the European Commission confirmed it would lift existing quotas but would monitor imports from China for one year from 1 January 2008.

The monitoring measure does not limit how much China can export, but relies instead on a "joint import surveillance" scheme to track Chinese export licenses and European export permits in eight categories - T-shirts, pullovers, men's trousers, blouses, dresses, bras, bed linen and flax yarn.

To qualify for these export licenses, the Ministry of Commerce will require companies to have a registered capital of more than RMB500,000, a two-year track record in exports, and to have exported more than US$10,000 worth of textiles and clothing to the EU in the last year.

In addition, the companies must be a member of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textiles, and have had no intellectual property rights or environmental protection violations in the past three years.