There is a range of import-specific regulations that must be complied with by all businesses in this sector. The key issues relate to the Tariff, duties, Intrastat and intellectual property. Read more about import regulations in the textiles sector.
Using the Integrated Tariff
A common customs tariff is charged by all European Union (EU) countries on goods imported from outside the EU. You can find details of specific tariffs in the Integrated Tariff of the United Kingdom.
The Tariff is used to determine the specific classification code of your goods, and to find out:
if any licensing requirements apply
the rates of duty and VAT that apply
if there are additional charges, such as anti-dumping duties
if any reductions in duty may be available to you
Preferential rates of duty
The Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) allows products from a wide range of countries to be imported in the EU at a reduced or zero rate of duty.
Textile and clothing imports from most GSP countries are eligible for a 20 per cent reduction on the full rate of duty.
Textile and clothing products from the Least Developed Countries (LDC) of the GSP, are eligible for a nil preferential rate of duty.
The European Community has a number of other preferential trade agreements with third countries, in which textiles attract (mainly reduced) preferential rates of duty.
If you are VAT registered and the goods you acquire from or supply to VAT-registered businesses in other EU countries reach the Intrastat exemption threshold for the year, you must submit monthly supplementary declarations to HMRC.
Intrastat is the method of collecting information and producing statistics on goods traded between EU member states. Intrastat thresholds are reviewed annually. The current thresholds are £1.5 million for Arrivals and £250,000 for Dispatches.
Read more about Intrastat - reporting the value and volume of intra-EU trade . Intrastat is only applicable to VAT-registered traders.
You should ensure that imported goods do not breach the intellectual property (IP) rights of other businesses - eg you should watch out for counterfeit goods, as well as for design infringements. Infringing goods can be seized and destroyed by HMRC. You can ask HMRC to check for imported counterfeit versions of your goods. Read how HMRC can help protect your IP rights. Read more about intellectual property protection overseas.