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Russia curtails textile imports

The turmoil in Ukraine has pitted Russia against the US and the European Union. Fearing sanctions, Russia has threatened a ban on imports of clothing and textiles from the EU and the US. Moscow has already said it will not allow the import of EU clothing and textile products for government purchasing contracts. It has also banned the import of a wide range of clothing and textile inputs for such contracts.

On August 11, the Russian government ordered that public procurement from overseas of textiles, knitwear, nonwovens and some clothing should cease from September. The ban covers imports of fabrics, made-up textile articles, except apparel, ropes, cords and net, nonwoven materials and products, except clothing, knitted cloths, hosiery, pullovers, cardigans, overalls, top clothes, underwear and fur products.

The share of textile and clothing imports from the US and the EU make up around 10 per cent of such goods consumed in Russia. Traditionally, such imports account for the most expensive, high-margin production. Russia feels the clampdown on western textile and light industry products would significantly increase the volume of domestic production, for which local demand is growing steadily.

The government is planning to provide domestic textile producers access to bank loans with interest rates no higher than five per cent . In addition, there are also plans to provide additional tax benefits to producers.