Rwanda to increase import tariff on secondhand clothes

East Africa has plans to take back its textile industry by increasing import tariff on garments from the West.

This is expected to improve production in Rwanda and other countries in that region.

Rwanda has increased import duties on secondhand clothes and shoes, coming mainly from Europe and North America, to help promote local manufacturers.

The new measure starts this July, particularly on the 1st. A manager in the Rwandan Receipts Agency, Drocelle Mukashyaka, confirmed the new tariffs. In the new rates, import duty for a kilogram or 2.2 pounds of shoes and clothing was previously $0.2, but it has been raised to $2.5. while for clothes and shoes its now $5.0 .

Secondhand clothing imported wholesale from the West is highly popular in Rwanda like other African nations where these garments are sold at low prices.

But this thriving market has “completely killed the textile industry” in developing countries, Trade Minister Francois Kanimba said back in mid-June.

Last February, the five heads of state in the East African Community — Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda — agreed to bring about a total ban on imports of secondhand clothes by 2019.

Rwandan Economy Minister Claver Gatete says ending the trade is not just about textile industry, but the economy of East Africa.

“And we are not even the right way to discuss the second hand clothes, it’s not an industry producing, it’s not just even acceptable according to our dignity because we would prefer the new clothes coming from outside that can also compete with what is produced here.”

But ordinary Rwandans are less keen on the measure, fearing a rise in prices of imported clothing while local industry is not up to meeting demand. The governments solution though not popular will improve the the nations economy.

Source: TVC News