Belgians to pay 'crockery tax'
High street stores have slammed Brussels over a decision which levies 'crockery tax' on inexpensive cups, plates and bowls being imported from China.
It is believed it could feed through to a 20 percent increase in the price of a basic set of dinner plates, side plates and bowls in the shops.
About 80 percent of the European and British imports of crockery come from China, the country having an advantage due to low wages and production costs, Daily Mail reported.
The EU market for ceramic tableware and kitchenware is worth 1.2 billion pounds (USD 1.9 bn) with around half of that made up of products imported from China.
The new duty was scheduled to come into force within a day, adding between around 18 and 59 percent to the wholesale dockside price of the cheap imports.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has stressed the increase will inevitably drive up shop prices, particularly for value crockery which appeals to households on a tight budget.
The step by the European Commission is the latest in a number of measures formulated to protect manufacturers in Europe against competition from cheap Chinese imports.