Tax exempted for US Blue Jeans

Date: December 12, 2013

Tax exempted for US Blue Jeans

The 'Noise' from the California Market was Heard!

UK Customs Strikes Down Fat Tax on US Blue Jeans

A ruling has been obtained on behalf of Hudson Clothing, exempting their 'women's blue jeans'
from the 38% retaliatory tariff

Consumers in the EU will soon be paying less for Made-in-the-USA women's jeans.  Los Angeles-based Hudson Clothing, represented by Elise Shibles of Sandler,Travis & Rosenberg, PA, (ST&R) received a ruling yesterday from the UK's customs and tax department exempting its 'women's blue jeans' from the 200% EU tariff increase imposed last spring.

The California Fashion Association, working with Tom Travis, ST&R's Managing Partner, were instrumental in alerting California premium denim brands and, acting as a coalition of the major brands in the region's denim industry, informed members of the California legislature. Congressman Beccera and Congresswoman Royball-Allard responded by effectively reaching out to the White House staff and Washington DC offices involved with trade negotiations.

According to Ms. Shibles, the retaliatory EU tariff that raised the tax on US-made women's denim trousers from 12% to 38% should not have been applied to Hudson's jeans. The legal argument asserted that the blue jeans in question fall under a tariff provision not covered by the increased tax.

"We were able to convince Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs that the jeans should fall under the tariff classification for cotton women's trousers other than denim or corduroy and, as such, should be exempt from the increased tariff," Shibles explains. "Hudson jeans are definitely made of denim as the term is used in the apparel industry but they don't fall within the legal definition of denim within the Harmonized Tariff Schedule. They are properly classified in the EU under Tariff Code 6204.62.3990, which means they are not the type of garments subject to the tax hike."

This ruling bodes well for other manufacturers whose imports into the EU were subjected to the 38% retaliatory tariff.

"The UK ruling is a step in the right direction in fighting the retaliatory tariffs imposed by the EU last spring," says Mr. Travis. "We are now working other west coast blue jeans companies to seek refunds for overpayment of taxes and obtain rulings on other items that should have been exempt from the tax all along." 

Last April, US blue jeans manufacturers were jolted by the EU's decision to dramatically increase tariffs on specific US-made goods, including high end women's denim jeans manufactured by the revitalized southern California garment industry.  The EU had announced that the tariff increase on 'women's denim trousers' would jump more than 200%, effective May 1, 2013.

The California Fashion Association immediately contacted its members, as well as those involved in the region's denim industry whose brand was not on CFA's roster, and reached out to many facets of the media, and the California legislators. This is a clear example of the effectiveness of a coalition of companies, acting together, on issues that affect their mutual interests and the over-all California industry.

California Fashion Association

The California Fashion Association (CFA) is a non-profit organization established to provide information for business expansion and growth to the apparel and textile industry of California.

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