Photo: Used Clothing Ban in Dominican Republic
Effective today the Dominican Republic government has prohibited the importation of used clothes that enter through any Dominican port.
Many are complaining that Dominicans that receive used clothing from relatives living abroad will be denied that benefit. Now clothes that is shipped in boxes or ‘tanques’ (tanks) will be confiscated. Others believe that the ban affects only used clothes brought in for resale. However, many are confused as to the extent of the ban and the government has not clearly identified clothing for ‘humanitarian’ purposes as exempt.
The ban is being administered by the Customs office which in effect restored Law 458 that passed some 39 years ago but rarely enforced. Therefore any clothes or shoes that come in outside of their original package could be considered used and therefore risk being confiscated.
The ban was in great part driven by local clothing manufacturers who are seeing used clothes being sold at flea markets and at local retailers. The Dominican textile industry views these clothes as creating unfair competition for them.