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New EU duty on tiles is headache for DIY sector
Date 18/03/2011 14:06  Author webmaster  Hits 1396  Language Global
18 MAR 2011

Retail Gazette

A new tax being imposed on Chinese ceramic tile imports by the European Union will hit UK home & DIY retailers hard, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Coming into effect on Saturday March 19th, duties of between 30 and 70 per cent have an impact on the dockside price paid on importers of the Chinese export.

It will apply to all countries in the EU, including the UK, during a trial nine-month period but could be put in place for as many as five years.

Stephen Robertson, Director General of the BRC, 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.

Up to seven per cent of ceramic tiles on the European market come from China and with costs set to increase this will remove the competitive pressure on the makers of more expensive tiles to keep their prices down.

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