/ Summary: Euratex has already drawn member?s attention on the imposition by Argentina of non automatic import regime primarily on textile and clothing products in addition to other customs related decisions that are slowing down the customs clearance. This issue was mentioned by the Commission during the January market access textile working group and Commission services insisted upon during the March meeting of the same working group.
Commission is now intending to act as in March Argentina has once more enlarged the product list covered by such provisions. For the textile and clothing products despite the 2008 agreement by the Argentinean authorities not to use such instrument anymore following the Euratex trade barrier regulation action the list was enlarged to a few product lines of chapter 63 covering home textile products including certain types of blankets: 6301.90.00; 6302.32.00; 6302.60.00; 6302.21.00; 6302.39.00; 6302.91.00; 6302.22.00; 6302.40.00; 6303.91.00; 6302.29.00; 6302.51.00; 6303.92.00; 6302.31.00; 6302.53.00. This list complete le products covered by the non automatic licensing system as identified in the previous circular1.
The impact of such measure is severe as there are insisting reports demonstrating that EU textile and clothing brand were obliged to stop their activities in Argentina because of the difficulties to import products from the EU.
To date the non-automatic import licence regime cover a growing number of products: base metals & articles of base metal (e.g. knives), furniture, seats (also for vehicles), blank CDs, machinery & mechanical appliances (e.g. elevators, harvesting machinery), textiles, footwear, toys and tyres.
Non-automatic licensing is attackable under WTO if licensing triggers longer than permitted delays. The Commission is undertaking action in Brussels and Buenos Aires.
In this context Commission is requesting to the EU exporters and to Members States to fill-in the table attached in annex 1 and to send it back to Euratex as soon as possible and to signal any specific problems companies are facing as a result of these new measures.