While raw sponges can enter the EEC free of charge, for processed sponges a duty of 8% has to be paid.
|Sponges||Group 1||Group 2||Group LLDC|
|- Grass, velvet, yellow||Free||Free||25%|
The group ‘2’ includes all communist countries, LDDC are all least developed countries, the group ‘1’ are all other countries. Over the past four years the duty on grass, velvet, yellow sponges has continuously decreased from 1.8% in 1984 to zero in 1987, similarly the duty on other sponges dropped from 5.3% to 3% at present. This reduction in duty makes exports to the U.S.A. more interesting and can in part explain the increase of sponge imports in 1987.
|- Not less than 3600 yen/kg||Free||Free|
The above classification (sponges below/above 3600 yen/kg) is now quite old and at the present market price only a marginal part of the Japanese sponge imports is below 3600 yen/kg. If Pacific countries want to go into sponge culture and export to the Japanese market, the species and the quality of the sponge should be such that the sales value exceeds 3600 yen/kg.