Such goods will be subjected to quota regulations even if they are presented for customs clearance after dismantling of quotas in December 31, 2004.
However, in order to avoid excessive burdens on trade and customs, from April 1, 2005 all such goods will be allowed to enter the European Union (EU) freely, an European Commiss-ion proposal said. The commission has proposed to eliminate quotas applying on imports of textile and clothing products from World Trade Organisation (WTO) member countries from January 1, 2005. The proposal will soon be sent to EU members for adoption.
EU will, however, be maintaining import quota from non-WTO members including Belarus, North Korea, Serbia, Montenegro and Vietnam even after December 31, 2004. The import quota restrictions with Montenegro and Vietnam are likely to be eliminated in the near future.
In order to closely watch imports of the most sensitive textile and clothing products from China, the commission has proposed to set up a monitoring system. Such scheme will be compatible with the WTO rules on import licensing, and destined to ensure a smooth transition to a quota-free system as from January 1, 2005, it said.
The EU will scrupulously respect its WTO obligation to eliminate textiles and clothing quotas by 2005. But we will also closely follow imports after that date to be able to react in case of serious market disruption, using the means available under the WTO rules, EU trade commissioner Pascal Lamy said.
Currently, the EU applies 210 quotas for the import of textiles and clothing products from 11 WTO countries (Argentina, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru, Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea and Thailand). The EU has already eliminated 56 bilateral quotas in 2002 under the third stage of integration of the ATC.