The EC has revised the rules governing duty on goods imported from developing countries, including China and India. This puts an end to the duty-free status held by certain products including motorised toys, puzzles, weapons and some soft toys. Human-type dolls will continue to be duty-free, except for those from South Korea and Hong Kong.
As a result of the changes, retail prices could rise by between five and seven per cent, say toy importers.
“Shop prices will rise across the board because of this. The European Union is imposing inflation on Britain; it’s not something that the UK Government would do,” says a spokesman for one of the UK’s leading toy importers, PMS International.
The company also says it was angry that it received such short notice of the revision – it came into force at the start of this year while importers were told of the changes in the last week of December 1994.
The changes occurred after the EC altered the Generalised System of Preference which gives special treatment to goods from developing countries.