Just as China has clamped down on polluting industries so as to create a healthier environment for its citizens there are also measures in place that could have an impact on the fashion industry in terms of what effects imports and exports which are the international dynamics of the sector.
These measures are the latest Chinese AQSIQ regulations concerning inedible animal by-products. At the end of 2014, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China (AQSIQ) promulgated the Measures for Supervision and Administration of Inspection and Quarantine of Entry and Exit Non-edible Animal Products (AQSIQ Decree No.159) which has become effective as of February 1, 2015.
These measures, popularly referred to as “AQSIQ” could limit both the export and import of fashion products made from materials of animal origin – in this case leather - into and out of China if products fail inspections. As in the above cited case of pollution, these measures are aimed at improving and safeguarding the health of consumers.
As this a new very recent measure companies will have to navigate the rules and regulations so as to continue operating smoothly and not have their business prejudiced by failing inspections or receiving adequate certifications. China is taking these measures very seriously as can be judged from the fact that they are willing to send AQSIQ inspectors to foreign countries to carry out procedures on merchandise due for import to China, which includes leather of all types.
In the coming months everyone should have a better idea of how firms are coping with the new AQSIQ regulations and if it will impact exports of leather goods and footwear from China as well as imports from trading partners.
AQSIQ and anti-pollution measures have been a long time coming in China but they were inevitable if China will eventually take over the role as the world’s largest economic driving force. We are now 35 years on from the time when Deng Xiaoping’s Open Door Policy which kick started China’s economic boom as the country transforms itself into the Workshop of the World and is now on the way to a full blown consumer society the like of which has never been seen in terms of population or number of consumers.