The European Commission has proposed opening zero-duty import quotas for a wide range of yarns plus some textiles and fabrics for which there is demand within the European Union (EU), but where local production is either weak or non-existent.

Assuming they are approved by the EU Council of Ministers, three-year (almost entirely) duty free quotas, unlimited in scope, will be opened for products ranging from textile fabrics coated with adhesive, embedded with microspheres; knitted or woven fabrics, coated or covered with artificial plastic material, also embedded with microspheres; cotton gauze, less than 1,500mm wide; some woven polytetrafluoroethylene fabrics; and woven fabrics of poly(vinyl alcohol) fibres, for machine embroidery.

The yarns covered by these duty-free exemptions include yarns of synthetic textile fibres solely of aromatic polyamides obtained by the polycondensation of m-phenylenediamine and isophthalic acid; non-textured filament yarn of poly(vinyl alcohol); yarn wholly of poly(glycollic acid); synthetic filament yarn, single, untwisted, wholly of poly(thio-1,4-phenylene); some polyamide yarns of crimpable bicomponent filaments consisting of poly(hexamethylene adipamide) with a copolyamide, for making knee-length stockings, women's stockings and panty hose (tights).

All tariff concessions are to start January 1, to be exploited by suppliers from any country.

For full details of concessions, visit

By Keith Nuthall