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Export Tariff Rates Announced

New tariff rates on exports of six categories of textiles and of energy-intensive metals have been confirmed. The introduction and resumption of export tariffs for various goods had been announced in principle earlier this month.

In the case of textiles, they are to address the concerns of trading partners worried about the effect of removing quotas on Chinese imports and to counter their anti-dumping measures.

From this Saturday, 148 items, including knitted and non-knitted shirts, underwear and night clothes, overcoats, skirts and trousers, will attract tariffs from 0.2 yuan to 0.3 yuan (2.4-3.6 US cents) per piece or set of apparel. The duty will be collected by quantity rather than value, in order to encourage higher quality products. For clothing parts or accessories, the tariff will be 0.5 yuan (6.0 US cents) per kilogram.

Other measures introduced by the Ministry of Commerce include making textile companies report on their expansion plans, encouraging them to invest abroad, and fostering the development of domestic brands.

Industry insiders also said the tariffs will have limited impact on exports with higher values, but for producers of goods such as briefs, the tariff will be a heavy blow.

The tariffs on exports of energy-intensive metals have been set to discourage their production and help alleviate the country's energy shortage.

Beginning January 1, an export tax of 5 percent will be imposed on aluminum exports and 2 percent for nickel, according to the Ministry of Finance. For copper, the rate will be 10 percent for blister and scrap copper and 5 percent for refined copper exports.

The export tariff on aluminum had previously dropped to zero in 1999, while those on copper and nickel followed suit in 2000.

Analysts believe the move may also represent an attempt to rein in investment in aluminum production, a sector thought by many to be overheating.

(China Daily December 28, 2004)

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