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Machinery (Import Duties)

Volume 466: debated on Tuesday 28 June 1949

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asked the President of the Board of Trade why, in view of Government appeals for the need of increased production, is import duty being charged on machinery ordered from abroad for immediate delivery for the purpose of quicker and more efficient production and when there is 18 months delay for delivery on home-made machinery.

Under the Import Duties (General) Order, 1935, as amended by subsequent orders made by the Treasury under the authority of the Import Duties Act, 1932, machinery and parts thereof are liable to duty on importation into the United Kingdom at rates ranging from 15 to 33⅓ per cent. ad valorem. Exceptionally under Section 10, Finance Act, 1932, as subsequently amended, the Treasury, after consultation with the Board of Trade, may by licence authorise the importation of a consignment of machinery without payment of all or any of the duties chargeable under the Import Duties Act, 1932, if it is considered expedient to do so. Applications for licences may be made on the ground that similar machinery is not for the time being procurable in the United Kingdom, and a substantial amount of duty is in fact remitted on current applications. The need for quicker and more efficient production is met, in appropriate cases, by the issue of an import licence.