EURATEX welcomes modernisation of PEM convention

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EURATEX, the European Apparel and Textile Confederation, has welcomed the European Commission (EC) proposal to modernise the PanEuroMed (PEM) Convention and its rules of origin, but has called for an ambitious information campaign to ensure companies fully benefit from it. The PEM region covers 24 partner countries in the EU’s neighbourhood region.

On August 24, 2020, the EC adopted a package of proposals that aims at increasing trade between the European Union and neighbouring countries in the PEM or the Pan-Euro-Mediterranean region. The proposal modernises the rules of origin of the PEM convention, as it introduces, for example, the principle of “full cumulation” and it lifts the current prohibition of duty-drawback.

"EURATEX welcomes the current proposals and it appreciates the pragmatic solution proposed by the EC, even though a full and final agreement couldn’t be reached with all PEM partners. The proposed rules will facilitate the integration of textile and clothing supply chains and thus give a boost to textile and clothing production and trade within the region. In a moment when several companies are looking at moving their production from far away countries to a nearby production sites, it is very timely to have the PEM Convention implemented," EURATEX said in a press release.

EURATEX has called the EC to not stop there, but continue negotiations with all PEM partner countries, and to launch an information campaign which will allow companies to fully understand and benefit from the new rules. According to EURATEX director general Dirk Vantyghem, “this is also a perfect opportunity to present a similar proposal to the UK, which should join the PEM convention too. It will be a win-win situation both for the EU and UK companies.” Indeed, if UK joins the PEM conventions, nearly 50 per cent of EU exports in textile and clothing would be covered by a single set of origin rules.

The PEM is an important region for the EU, as trade with these countries accounted for €677 billion in 2019. For the EU textile and clothing sector, the region represents 29 per cent of its exports.