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August 23, 2022

UK clothing sector applauds simpler rules under trade scheme

UK clothing brands and retailers have applauded a new framework offering developing nations lower tariffs and simplified rules of origin requirements for exporting.

By Hannah Abdulla

The UK has rolled out the Developing Countries Trading Scheme which applies to goods including clothing and food and cuts tariffs for 65 developing exporting countries.

The Developing Countries Trading Scheme cuts administrative costs for businesses by reducing tariffs and bringing more countries in the scope of the most generous tariff reductions. It also cuts red tape for developing countries, for example by simplifying rules of origin requirements for the least developed nations. This helps the world’s poorest countries to export to the UK and play a more active part in fast-growing global supply chains.

It also helps lower costs for UK businesses, leading to lower prices for consumers across a range of everyday products, by reducing tariffs on imports from low-income and lower-middle income countries. Increasing trade and decreasing tariffs is another way the government is supporting businesses and individuals with cost-of-living increases.

The clothing sector has welcomed news of the new scheme. Bangladesh textile firm DBL Group’s managing director, Mohammed Jabbar, said: “These new rules will be a game changer for us. They mean we will be able to source our cotton from many more countries than we could before, which will make the business more competitive and our supply chains a lot more resilient.”

Speaking to Just Style, Adam Mansell, CEO of UKFT, commented: “UKFT welcomes the recently announced DCTS. The new scheme will simplify trade for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in particular, while still offering benefits to other developing countries. The new approach to rules of origin and cumulation for LDCs are of significant interest, and should make sourcing fashion from countries such as Bangladesh, Cambodia and Nepal much more attractive for UK brands and retailers. While the government announcement is an important step, it is worth noting that the scheme still needs to move through the legislative process and that until this is completed, the existing UK GSP rules still apply.”

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