BEIJING -- A new online textile export license system began operation in China on Tuesday, just days before a quota system for shipments to the European Union (EU) is to expire, sources in the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) told Xinhua.
The online application system "is one of a series of measures taken by China to better regulate the textile export market and avoid a surge of Chinese clothing exports to the EU like the one in 2005," Zhao Qiuyan, a senior analyst with the China Trade Remedy Information web site, under the MOC, told Xinhua.
After international textile quotas expired in January 2005, Europe was swamped by low-priced imports from China. That surge led Chinese and EU authorities to sign the Memorandum of Understanding on China-EU Textile Trade, which renewed quotas on China's textile exports to the EU in June 2005. But that pact expires at the end of 2007.
The two sides agreed this September to set up a bilateral system to monitor Chinese exports of T-shirts, pullovers, men's trousers, blouses, dresses, bras, bed linens and flax yarn after the quotas end. Monitoring is to continue until the end of 2008, without quantity restrictions.
Under the system, these eight categories will be tracked on the Chinese side through export licenses and will be monitored when they enter the EU, which is watching for signs of another surge in textile goods from China.
The MOC and the General Customs Administration issued a circular on European-oriented textile exporters' management earlier this month, in which they stipulated that only qualified textile makers could apply to local MOC branches for export licenses, either electronically or on paper.
The China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textiles, China National Textile and Apparel Council and China Association of Enterprises With Foreign Investment established the standards in November for domestic exporters and formed a joint assessment group.