From China to Finland—Unexpected Export of Used Stained Garments

September 28, 2008 11:53 pm Last Updated: September 29, 2008 8:02 am

CHINA, Fujian Province—Clothing, declared as “ladies’ beach pants” and “dresses” for export to Finland, were found to be old garments from Xiamen City, Fujian Province, recently. Authorities confiscated and destroyed them, some of which were tainted by feces.  Businessmen under investigation complained that they were victims also, claiming that it was the suppliers who had tricked them by using old garments for new ones.

According to a report by Southeast Morning, a local newspaper in southern China, on the morning of September 24, 2008, over 40,000 pieces of old clothing intended for export were burned. These garments were declared at customs as “ladies’ beach pants” and “dresses” for export, and authorities found that there was old clothing mixed in with them and turned them over to the Haicang Inspection and Quarantine Bureau of Xiamen City. The Bureau emptied all the boxes and found that some of the garments had feces on them, others were stained with blood, and some were tainted by oil or even moldy.

Competent authorities said that there were many types of clothing in the shipment, including jeans, and most of them were required to be inspected. And yet the tradesmen labeled them as “ladies’ beach pants” and “dresses,” which were not required to be checked, in an attempt to evade inspection. The total confiscated goods consisted of 46,000 pieces in 396 boxes, including a number of knitted and cotton items among them.

The case was said to be typical, yet a major one in which new and old goods were mixed in the packaging for export.

The head of the investigators in the case said that they’d learned that the garments were heading toward Finland, and the trading partners in the European nation were expecting brand-new goods, not old ones.

During interrogation, the businessmen, now in custody, claimed that they too were fooled and pointed out that it was the suppliers who did it. Now the local Haicang Inspection and Quarantine Bureau has taken the case and will investigate it further.