The UK is among the leading importers of textiles in the world. According to Statista, the value of imported fabric to the region in 2021 was over £6 billion. This shows the presence of business opportunities in the UK for fabric manufacturers in other countries like China, which is one of the biggest exporters to the UK.
However, if you plan to import textile products to the UK, you should familiarize yourself with the applicable import duty. This will make clearing with customs easy, ensuring the goods are delivered on time.
How the Fabric Duty Works
The UK has a tariff system called the UK Global Tariff that outlines rates for all imported goods, including textiles. The tariff applies to imported goods from countries where the UK has no trade agreements.
The textile tariff lines describe the VAT and customs duty for the many categories of fabric products. Each product line is identified by a code showing the applicable import tax, which varies between 0-8%.
Import Duty Rates for Select Textile Products
There are hundreds of product lines, each with its own customs duty. Here we point out a few, focusing on those obtained from nylon, polyester, and cotton.
Nylon Fabrics Tariffs
Synthetic filament tow derived from nylon and high tenacity synthetic filament yarn, both textured and untextured, has 0.00% import duty. The same applies to synthetic staple fibers of nylon that are carded, not carded, combed, or processed for spinning.
When importing single or cabled yarn with 85% or more weight of staple nylon fibers, you will incur an import tax of 4%.
The UK imposes a duty of 8% per square meter for woven fabric derived from high-tenacity nylon yarn. The rate also applies to other woven fabrics obtained from strips and those containing 85% or more by weight of nylon filaments.
Polyester Fabrics Tariffs
Synthetic filament tow obtained from polyesters and wastes of polyesters has no import duty. The same is true for synthetic staple fibers of polyesters carded, not carded, combed, or processed for spinning.
Single and multiple yarns with at least 85% weight of polyester staple fiber attract a tariff of 4%.
Woven fabrics of polyesters with less than 85% of polyester and mixed mainly with cotton and weighing less or more than 170 g/m2 attract the highest import duty of 8%. The rate applies to bleached, unbleached, dyed, and printed polyester staple fibers.
The 8% import duty is also charged for woven fabrics of synthetic staple fibers with 85% or more by weight of the polyester.
For other woven fabrics obtained from strips and containing 85% or more by weight of polyester filaments, the customs duty is also 8%.
Cotton Fabrics Tariffs
Textile products obtained from cotton attract varying import duties depending on the material composition, among other factors.
Cotton fabrics with 0.00% duty include not carded or combed cotton, cotton waste, which includes yarn waste, cotton sewing thread, and cotton yarn. This indicates that most of the tariff lines for cotton goods attract zero import duty.
However, there are other classifications with a high import duty of 8%, and these include:
- Woven fabric with a total weight of more than 200 g/m2 and containing at least 85% weight of cotton.
- Woven fabric containing less than 85% weight of cotton and mixed mainly with artificial fibers.
- All other woven fabrics of cotton e that are bleached, unbleached, dyed, and printed.
Tariffs and Their Role in the Textile Industry in the UK
As a procurement agent or fashion designer in the textile industry, it is important to understand the role of tariffs in the industry. A tariff is a tax imposed on imported goods, such as textiles, by the government of the importing country. The purpose of tariffs is to make imported goods more expensive than domestically produced goods, in order to protect domestic production and encourage local industries.
Tariffs have been used in the textile industry for centuries as a tool to protect domestic production and promote economic growth. Tariffs can help to create a level playing field for domestic producers by making imports more expensive and less competitive. This can result in increased demand for domestic textile production, which in turn creates jobs and supports the local economy.
In addition, tariffs can be used to promote fair trade practices and protect against dumping, which is the practice of exporting goods to another country at a price lower than the cost of production. This can result in unfair competition and can harm domestic producers.
Tariffs can also have an impact on international trade and relations. They can be used as a negotiating tool in trade agreements, as countries may use tariffs as leverage to gain better access to foreign markets.
However, tariffs can also have negative effects on the textile industry. They can result in higher prices for imported textiles, which can impact the competitiveness of local producers who rely on imported inputs. This can lead to increased costs for consumers, reduced variety of textiles available, and potentially decreased demand for textiles overall.
Overall, tariffs play an important role in the textile industry, and understanding their impact is crucial for procurement agents and fashion designers. While they can protect domestic production and promote economic growth, they can also have negative effects on trade and prices. It is important to carefully consider the use of tariffs and their potential impact on the industry as a whole.
Impact of Fabrics Tariffs on British Consumers
The impact of tariffs on British consumers cannot be understated. Tariffs on imported textiles, including those from China, can increase the price of textiles and clothing for consumers. This can reduce demand for imported textiles and potentially lead to decreased variety and quality of textiles available in the UK.
Tariffs can also impact the British economy as a whole. If prices increase, consumers may have less disposable income to spend on other goods and services, which can lead to a decrease in overall economic activity.
It is important for procurement agents and fashion designers to carefully consider the impact of tariffs on British consumers when making decisions about textile sourcing and pricing. While tariffs may protect domestic production, they can also have negative effects on the industry and the economy as a whole.
Impact of Tariffs on the British Textile Industry
The impact of tariffs on the British textile industry is complex and multifaceted. Tariffs on imported textiles, including those from China, can help to protect domestic production and encourage local industry growth. However, they can also increase the cost of imported inputs for local producers, which can reduce their competitiveness and potentially lead to decreased demand for their products.
In addition, tariffs can impact British textile exports, as other countries may impose retaliatory tariffs in response to British tariffs on their imports. This can harm British textile exporters and limit their access to foreign markets.
It is important for procurement agents and fashion designers to carefully consider the impact of tariffs on the British textile industry when making decisions about textile sourcing and pricing. While tariffs can protect domestic production, they can also have negative effects on the industry and the economy as a whole. Consideration should be given to sourcing textiles from countries with lower tariffs and negotiating trade agreements that benefit the British textile industry.
FAQs about Tariffs on the British Textile Industry
What are tariffs?
Tariffs are a form of tax levied on imported goods by the government to protect domestic industries and generate revenue.
What is the textile industry?
The textile industry involves the production of fabrics and clothing from raw materials, such as cotton, wool, and silk.
How do tariffs affect the economy?
Tariffs can protect domestic industries, generate revenue for the government, and influence international trade.
What is the impact of tariffs on international trade?
Tariffs can influence the terms of international trade, making it easier or more difficult for countries to import and export goods.
How do tariffs affect prices for consumers?
Tariffs can make imported goods more expensive, which can lead to higher prices for consumers.
How are tariffs decided?
Tariffs are decided by the government and are based on various factors, such as the country of origin, the type of goods, and the intended use of the goods.
Fabric import duty in the UK varies depending on the nature of the product. The rate can be as low as 0% or a high of up to 8%.
Therefore, before importing textile, know the codes assigned to the specific goods by the UK Global Tariffs and the corresponding import tax percentage. This will help you determine the amount you must pay as import tax.
The tariffs on textiles in the UK play a crucial role in protecting domestic textile producers, generating revenue for the government, and influencing international trade. These tariffs have a significant impact on the supply and demand of textiles in the UK and can affect the availability and price of certain types of textiles for consumers and fashion designers.
Procurement agents of trendy cloth factories and fashion designers should be aware of the tariff rates on textiles in the UK and how they may impact their operations. For example, if a trendy cloth factory relies heavily on imported textiles, they may face higher costs due to the tariffs. Similarly, if a fashion designer requires a particular type of imported textile for their designs, they may face limited availability due to the tariffs.
In conclusion, the tariffs on textiles in the UK are a complex issue with significant impacts on the textile industry and consumers. By understanding these tariffs and their effects, procurement agents and fashion designers can make informed decisions about their operations and stay competitive in the UK textile market.