Curious Justification for Argentina’s Clampdown on Imported Books

Argentinian Secretary of Domestic Trade Guillermo Moreno

Curious Justification for Argentina’s Clampdown on Imported Books
Graphic industrialist Juan Carlos Sacco affirmed that the limitations would only affect books that had elevated levels of lead in their ink: “wetting your finger to turn the page would be dangerous”
La Nación: Curiosa justificación de las trabas de Moreno a los libros importados
March 31, 2011

The new regulations for importing books and any other graphic material has a justification: concern for public health. At least, that’s how the third vice president of the Argentinian Industrial Union, Juan Carlos Sacco, justified the rules today, stating that it could be dangerous to “handle” a book with lead proportions higher than 0.05-0.06% of the ink.

In a radio interview, Sacco emphatically denied that Argentina was prohibiting the importation of books, despite the new regulations from the Secretary of Domestic Trade which will delay the reception of graphic material bought abroad.

With this new norm, each buyer will have to check with customs officials in the Ezeiza airport that the ink in these publications does not have a quantity of lead greater than 0.05-0.06% of its chemical composition.

“Resolution 453 is environmental,” said Sacco in a dialogue on Radio 10. He then explained that it could be “dangerous” to manipulate a book with a greater quantity of lead than permitted. “One must handle a book. And one could possibly put his finger on his tongue to turn the page. This is a serious measure,” affirmed the industrialist in response to a question by journalist Marcelo Longobardi.

Sacco denied that this would block the importation of graphic products. “There is no sentence in any statute prohibiting bringing books into the country from abroad,” he assured. He also added that the norm had the intention of promoting domestic book production.

“In the last five years, 140,000 tons of books have been imported at a cost of $550 million. And in 2011, we had a trade imbalance of 78%, some $125 million,” Sacco explained.

Explore posts in the same categories: Business, Latinoamérica, Politics, Translations

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