• John Luxton

The Hon John Luxton, Minister of Commerce, today announced the introduction of a special duty concession for a wide range of children's clothing. This should mean cheaper clothes for New Zealand children.

Mr Luxton today said, "Children's clothing is a significant cost item for many families and removing these specific tariffs should result in price reductions for a range of children's clothing. We do not want tariffs to impact unnecessarily on prices to New Zealand families and other consumers.

I hope that the full benefit of this tariff reduction will be passed onto New Zealand families who buy these childrens clothes, Mr Luxton said.

Under this concession imports of certain garments for children between two and seven years of age will be exempted from paying the alternative specific tariffs. Ad valorem tariffs, however, will still apply. Most clothing for children up to the age of two years is already duty free under the infant wear duty concessions scheme.

Mr Luxton noted that his approval of this new concession arose from a joint submission which had been made to him by the Apparel and Textile Federation, the Importers' Institute and the Retail and Wholesale Merchants' Association. The proposed concession had also been advertised through the New Zealand Gazette and no objections had been lodged.

Mr Luxton commended those involved on taking a constructive approach on this issue. There had been agreement amongst all parties that the concession would not apply to those garment types for which there was significant production by local clothing manufacturers. Care had also been taken to carefully define those garments to be covered by the concession, especially in terms of sizing.

Mr Luxton also noted that special policing mechanisms are being put in place so that abuse of the concession does not occur. " I want to be sure that the new concession does not impact negatively on the industry assistance regime laid down for the adult apparel manufacturing industry, " Mr Luxton concluded.