For many importers, China is a country where a great amount of clothes can be purchased and sold with big profit at their home countries. Recently the Chinese labor costs have risen, and the same happened with the major raw materials. However, Chinese suppliers can provide better quality and already have experience in this branch of trade.
Everyone who is willing to start an importer’s career should remember about several important issues. First of all, to generate a satisfactory profit margin, a huge order must be made. Smaller orders can be easily handled by Chinese wholesalers operating in your own country.
Another thing: trademark clothing. Prices for trademark clothing in China may be even higher than in other places, because it is consider luxurious, Chinese are fervent worshippers of everything with trademark. It is impossible though to get better prices for trademark clothing ordered in China, so 99% of offered clothes are fake. That kind of merchandise will be confiscated and destroyed by the Customs Office; the buyer will be fined and may even face criminal charges. You have to carefully determine whether the clothing has trademarks on it, because the Chinese are not only counterfeiting the most popular brands (such as Puma, Adidas or Nike) but also several other less known, but still legally registered in the EU or US.
Due to its superb production potential, China is perceived as a danger to local manufacturers of clothing and textiles, so the tariff is considerably high.
|Commodity name||EU duty rate||US duty rate||Commentary|
|Women’s or girls’ blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses, knitted or crocheted||12%||15.9%|
|Men’s or boys’ shirts, knitted or crocheted||12%||19.7%|
|Articles of apparel, clothing accessories and other articles of furskin *||3.7%||4%||EU: Import control on cat and dog fur, export license, CITES.|
|Artificial fur and articles thereof||3.2%||6.5%|
|Articles of apparel and clothing accessories, of leather or of composition leather||4%||0%||EU: Import control on cat and dog fur, export license, CITES.|
|Overcoats, car coats, capes, cloaks and similar articles||12%||15.9%|
|Leather gloves*||4%||3%||EU: CITES|
|Hats, plaited or braided||0%||6%|
|Babies’ garments and clothing accessories, knitted or crocheted||8.9%||7.9%||EU: Import control on cat and dog fur, export license, CITES.|
|Cotton babies’ garments||12%||14.9%|
According to the EU regulations (No 1523/2007) it is not allowed to import cat and dog leather to Europe. Customs authorities are responsible for control and verification of the products, in case of discovering the forbidden merchandise, fine may be imposed.
In order to protect natural environment, CITES regulations were adopted worldwide. CITES convention lists several endangered species of animals, which cannot be imported. In the EU, member-states legislation determines how the status of animal products is checked, usually it requires the importer to obtain the CITES import certificate.
It is worth mentioning that the quality of Chinese clothing has risen significantly. Till now, only western clothing brands were associated with top quality, but a couple of reliable Chinese brands also emerged. For example Li-ning, sportswear and sneakers manufacturer, is already present on several Southern Asian markets and is even trying to sell its products in the US. In its advertising campaigns, Li-ning uses the images of famous sportspeople such as sprinter Asafa Powell, pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva and NBA player Dwyane Wade. It is still hard to say whether the Chinese brands will be able to settle on the foreign markets, but this new trend creates a new business opportunity: setting up a distribution network of the big Chinese brand in your own country.