Published on 18 - March - 2011
New EU tile tax will push up prices, says BRCNew EU taxes on Chinese ceramic tiles will push up prices for consumers and cut into retailers' margins, the British Retail Consortium warned today.
The duties of between 30% and 70% will be introduced from this weekend and will affect the dockside price paid by importers. They will apply across the whole of the EU for an initial nine months, but could be in place for a further five years.
Up to 7% of ceramic tiles on the European market are of Chinese origin, and increasing their cost will remove the pressure on manufacturers of more expensive tiles to keep their prices down, the organisation said.
The EU's Anti-Dumping Committee has approved the new rates because it says the imported tiles are unfair competition for European tile manufacturers. However the BRC claims all such taxes go against the principle of free trade, pushing up shop prices for consumers and cutting into retailer's narrow margins.
BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: "Free trade is good for customers. It's infuriating the EU persists with protectionism, which pushes shop prices up. The EU talks about the benefits of free trade but, yet again, does exactly the opposite. Just now, the last thing customers need is another, bureaucratically-driven source of inflation."
He added: "When the UK hosing market is faltering and many families are choosing to improve their current home instead of moving, this extra cost is particularly harmful. The BRC will continue to press for the swift removal of these unfair taxes."
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