Ruling May Scare Away Costume Sales

Oct 08, 2002

By George Anderson

The prices on Halloween costumes might get downright scary next year if a federal
appeals court upholds an earlier ruling that these items should be treated and
taxed as though they were regular apparel.

Until now, many of the costumes sported by children at Halloween were not subject to the import tariffs of regular apparel. Should that now change, the prices paid by consumers could rise as much as 50 percent.

The current dispute started with a suit brought by New York-based Rubie’s Costume Company. Rubies, which sews most of its costumes domestically, “found it was getting slapped with duties of anywhere from 10 percent to 16 percent on fabric it imported.” Meanwhile, costumes manufactured outside the U.S. were not subject to a similar tariff amount.

Marc Beige, president, Rubie’s, said, “It is unfair that someone who makes use of China labor can escape duty on everything.”

Moderator’s Comment: Should Halloween costumes be subject
to the same tariffs as other apparel? Will higher prices have an appreciable
impact on costume sales in the future should the lower court ruling be upheld?

A kids’ medium-sized costume of a popular Anime character
can be purchased for approximately $50 in the NY metro area. For those that
think this is outrageous, $75 will be just too high to justify. [George
Anderson – Moderator


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