INTERNATIONAL REGULATORY ROUND UP – BANGLADESH POISED TO RATIFY EMERGING MARKET TRADE DEALMay 11th, 2017
BY KEITH NUTHALL
GLOBAL knitwear outsourcing centre Bangladesh is expected to soon ratify the emerging market D-8 PTA preferential trade agreement, newspaper reports in Dhaka say, indicating the government may have loosened demands over rules of origin. Bangladesh has been pushing for its manufacturers to gain privileged access to D-8 markets (Iran, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Nigeria and Turkey, as well as Egypt if it also ultimately ratifies), if 30% of value in a product is created within Bangladesh. The other signatories have a 40% threshold, but Bangladesh has been arguing for a lower standard as it is a least developed country. Bangladesh mainly exports knitwear, jute and leather goods toe D-8 member countries.
*The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly for an advisory motion calling on the European Commission to propose compulsory labour standards in the manufacture of clothes imported into the European Union (EU). The goal would be preventing a repeat of disaster such as the 2013 Rana Plaza collapse in knitwear centre Bangladesh, where more than 1,100 people died. See full text http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+REPORT+A8-2017-0080+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN
*The EU statistical agency Eurostat has released data indicating that there is still a robust trade between the EU and Russia in knitted fabrics, despite ongoing sanctions and poor diplomatic relations over the ongoing crisis in the Ukraine. EU sales of knitted and crocheted fabric to Russia in 2016 earned exporters EUR36 million, up from EUR32 million in 2015, albeit down from EUR43 million in 2014. Italian knitted fabric exporters have been key beneficiaries of this knitted and crocheted fabric trade, earning EUR9 million in 2016; while Lithuanian exporters earned EUR5.6 million from Russian sales that year.
*The Bangladesh Cotton Development Board (CBD) authority has released targets for its knitwear outsourcing country to produce one million bales of cotton annually by 2020 through the introduction of Bt cotton. This would be a major increase on the 150,000 bales currently produced each year in Bangladesh – the country has to import more than 5 million bales annually to supply its clothing and textile sector.
*The European Chemical Agency (ECHA) wants knitwear finishing suppliers to supply more data on their substances, to aid environmental health assessments. The EU agency is concerned about a shortage of information for 540 substances it wants assessed for potential inclusion on a list of substances of very high concern.
*ECHA has added 22 new chemicals to its Community Rolling Action Plan (CoRAP) of national government assessments on chemicals about which there are safety concerns. See new full list of CoRAP chemicals – https://echa.europa.eu/documents/10162/13628/corap_update_2017-2019_en.pdf/6a394595-a4e5-0e10-ec66-eabdc55ce7f6
*The EU agency has published information on around 15,000 chemical substances registered under EU chemical control system REACH. This information covers the intrinsic properties of each substance and its impact on human health and the environment. See https://iuclid6.echa.europa.eu/reach-study-results
*A draft standard has been released by CEN, the European Committee for Standardization, on establishing tables for body measurements and intervals to be used when compiling standard garment sizes for men, women, boys, girls and infants. See https://standards.cen.eu/dyn/www/f?p=204:110:0::::FSP_PROJECT,FSP_ORG_ID:41546,6229&cs=133E6B93CB260D2A5DBE1FFD3963CBAF0
Meanwhile, CEN is also drafting a standard method to determine the amounts of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in components of textile products. See https://standards.cen.eu/dyn/www/f?p=204:110:0::::FSP_PROJECT,FSP_ORG_ID:64542,6229&cs=185224B3609531F05472C6B35C5D8A5A1
And the standards organisation is also drafting a test method for the determining content of preservative agents 2-phenylphenol (OPP) and triclosan in textile products by liquid chromatography. See https://standards.cen.eu/dyn/www/f?p=204:110:0::::FSP_PROJECT,FSP_ORG_ID:64544,6229&cs=1AC77BCDFEA6F4CFCF58EAE1934A28330
*Polish distributors of Turkey-made Red Down-branded sweatshirts have recalled clothes from sale because of concerns that their drawstrings could strangle child wearers of the product, EU consumer alert network RAPEX has reported. Meanwhile, Portuguese retailers have withdrawn from sale Finland-exported Kärkkäinen children’s sweatshirts for the same reason, said a RAPEX note. And Finnish retailers have withdrawn from sale Just Kids / Kärkkäinen sweatshirts that were made in China over drawstring strangulation concerns, said RAPEX.