When red tape interferes, protectionism does not work well. They found it out in Turkey, where a very heavy duty has become effective since last 16 August: 500 dollars per ton of bovine wet blue, and 40 per cent on the sale price of sheep and goat semi-finished leather. Unfortunately, Turkish “experts” have mixed things up, thus including split leather in the wet blue hides. Such “oversight” persuaded the association of Turkish tanneries to ask the Minister of Economy to reconsider the duty, therefore excluding split leather from the tax measure. Their pressure proved to be successful, as split leather is no longer subject to customs duty, since last week. All the rest remains valid, aiming to “spur domestic tanneries to valorize wet blue hides in their own home country”. Italian tanneries, represented by UNIC, along with Cotance, the European confederation, have been alerting the European Commission to Turkey protectionism. Hence, the EC sent a warning to Turkey. Still its effects are unpredictable though. In the picture: the interiors of Akif Kopuf Turkish tannery (photo from the company’s website).