NEW YORK.- The Customs Agency’s (DGA) ban on used clothing and footwear shipments to the Dominican Republic which took effect Wednesday will have a disastrous impact on that industry, said local movers who hope president Leonel Fernandez will repeal the measure as soon as possible.
They said Custom' decision will impact the thousands of jobs created both abroad and locally, on which hundreds of families depend on.
The mall businesses which sell used garments will also suffer, affirmed Claritza Baez, executive of the shipper Aeromundo Express NY, located on 175th St. and Amsterdam Av. in Upper Manhattan. She said Dominican Republic is a poor country and the government's decision will greatly affect the community.
She said contrary to Customs’ claims, the volume of shipments hasn’t risen and has fallen more than 40% instead, due to the economic downturn. "And if we’re down with the recession, then the community cannot help their relatives because we’re poor and not all immigrants can send money or expensive items."
Baez said Customs charges as much $ 2,000 in taxes or more per shipped container and complained about what she considers a high restriction on those companies from shipping appliances.
"Starting today we’ve stopped shipments of used clothing, because we must respect the law," Baez said, warning however that containers “already underway or in ports could be confiscated and the goods won’t reach their intended recipients and we were told that everything you sent from now will have to be mixed with food."
She said shipping companies are fighting to get Customs to review the decision and take into account that the shipments are to help families, not commercial. "What we the shippers do is helpful to poor families in the country after the people who have used clothes decide to send them to relatives, neighbors and friends."