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Volume 976: debated on Tuesday 20 November 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade what countries outside the EEC are able to import textiles into the EEC on preferential terms or by special arrangement through association with member countries; what are the quantities involved and in what commodities.

[pursuant to the reply, 12 November 1979, c. 407]: Preferential trading regimes exist with the 58 developing country signatories to the Lomé convention, the overseas countries and territories listed in annex IV to the EEC Treaty as amended by the Treaty of Accession of Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom, the Maghreb countries—Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia—the Mashraq countries—Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria—Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Malta, Spain, Turkey, the EFTA countries and the Faroe Islands. Textile imports from these countries enter the Community free of formal quantitative restrictions though in certain cases informal restraint arrangements

CountryTariff headingProductUnited Kingdom share of quota
Cyprus56.04Man-made fibres7,000 kg
Spain55.09Other woven cotton25,000 kg
Turkey55.05Cotton yarn73,000 kg
55.09Other woven cotton656,000 kg
58.01A IICarpets43,000 kg
TARIFF CEILINGS ON TEXTILES 1979 (final year of ceiling operation where indicated *)
CountryTariff headingProductCommunity ceiling
Egypt*55.05Cotton yarn7,717 tonnes
55.09Other woven cotton3,583 tonnes
Israel*55.05Cotton yarn1,094 tonnes
55 09Other woven cotton486 tonnes
60.05Knitted/crocheted outergarments547 tonnes
Jordan*55.09Other woven cotton110 tonnes
Lebanon*55.09Other woven cotton220 tonnes
Malta55.05Cotton yarn1,323 tonnes
55.09Other woven cotton110 tonnes
56.04Man-made fibres882 tonnes
60.05Knitted/crocheted outergarments238 tonnes
61.01Mens'/boys' outergarments899 tonnes
Portugal*56.07Woven fabrics of man-made fibres3,202 tonnes
59.04Twine, cordage, ropes and cables11,324 tonnes
60.05Knitted/crocheted outergarments975 tonnes
61.01Mens'/boys' outergarments1,224 tonnes
61.02Women's/girls'/infants' outergarments373 tonnes
Syria*55.09Other woven cotton551 tonnes

have been negotiated between the supplying country and the Community. With the exception of Spain and the Faroe Islands, where preferential rates apply, these imports enter free of duty. Imports of some textiles from certain Mediterranean countries and Portugal are, however, subject to annual tariff ceilings or tariff quotas; if these are exceeded, the full common customs tariff may be imposed on the products concerned for the rest of the year. Details of these ceilings and quota arrangements are attached. For details of the tariff preferences granted to Spain and the Faroe Islands, I refer my hon. Friend to the United Kingdom tariff, available in the Library.

Under the Community's generalised scheme of preferences—GSP—textiles from developing countries enter the Community free of duty, within special tariff ceilings or tariff quotas in many cases. For details, I refer my hon. Friend to EEC Official Journal Nos. L375 of 30 December 1978 and L154 of 12 June 1979, available in the Library. The basis of the GSP for textiles will be changed next year.

a statement about the breaches of the United Kingdom quota levels/ceilings and the failure to implement effectively the basket procedures within the current multi-fibre arrangement.

[pursuant to his reply 12 November 1979, c. 408]; No formal quota under the multi-fibre arrangement has been exceeded. There have been some cases where voluntary restraint ceilings have been breached, and these are taken up with the supplying country by the EEC Commission on our behalf; where a supplying country refuses to cease issuing export licences we are prepared to consider the possibility of safeguard action, but in no case so far has this been necessary. The basket extractor procedures are being implemented, and seven new quotas have been imposed since the present Government took office.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what action is being taken by his Department more effectively to monitor and control the multi-fibre arrangement; and what discussions he is having within the EEC.

[pursuant to the reply, 12 November 1979, c. 407]: Monitoring the multi-fibre arrangement is a continuous process and my Department and the Department of Industry play an active part in the EEC discussions. We are always seeking to find ways of making the arrangements as effective as possible.