Textile and apparel goods have some of the highest duty rates of all commodities imported into the US

Textile and apparel goods have some of the highest duty rates of all commodities imported into the US

The latest Textile Enforcement Statistics released by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) show duties collected on textile and apparel products imported into the US in the third quarter of fiscal year 2020 more than halved as the global coronavirus pandemic brought trade to its knees.

The figures released by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) relate to the three months from April to June. The fiscal year 2020 on which the numbers are calculated runs from 1 October 2019 to 30 September 2020.

They show Section 301 duties collected on most apparel and footwear imported into the US from China amounted to US$536m in the third quarter – down from $1.2bn in the three months from January to March. As part of the US trade war with China, the additional tariff rate on Tranche 4A products currently stands at 7.5% on top of the most favoured nation (MFN) duty rate.

The third quarter covers the period when Chinese textile and apparel production shut down to halt the spread of Covid-19, followed  by a slump in US demand as retailers closed shops and cancelled or postponed orders.

Textile and apparel goods have some of the highest duty rates of all commodities imported into the US, and have long been a priority trade issue for CBP enforcement efforts.

Risks can include schemes designed to circumvent textile tariff and trade laws including false invoicing, false marking and labelling, false claims of origin, illegal transshipment, misdescription, undervaluation, false declarations of right to make entry, false trade preference claims, and outright smuggling.

No factory visits were made in the quarter, compared to 13 visits in the second quarter, while the number of cargo examinations were down 11% to 2,545.

The number of International Property Rights (IPR) seizures dropped to 621 in the third quarter, from 1,745 in the prior quarter. The CBP, meanwhile, carried out five audits, down from 11 previously.

"CBP maintains a robust and comprehensive enforcement strategy to effectively minimise and analyse the various textile risk areas," it says. "Both textile importers and the US domestic manufacturing industry have a substantial interest in the Textile PTI enforcement results."