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Suits (Imports)

Volume 976: debated on Tuesday 18 December 1979

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132.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether his Department has received information that three piece suits from Italy are currently being offered in the United Kingdom for under£20, that these suits were made in Romania and exported to Italy at a landed price of£8, and that the Italians re-export them to the United Kingdom taking advantage of the European Economic Community regulation permitting free circulation; and what action he intends to take seeing that these suits do not count against Romania's quota for the United Kingdom.

The Government applied to the EEC Commission on 15 November 1979 for authority under article 115 of the Treaty of Rome to withhold import licences from Romanian suits in free circulation in the Community. The Commission has rejected this application, pointing out that at the time of the application the quota for Romanian suits imported into the United Kingdom direct from Romania was not fully used. The United Kingdom is now consulting the Commission on the price of these goods in the context of the price clause in the bilateral EEC/Romania textiles agreement concluded under the multi-fibre arrangement.

133.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade, in the light of the fact that a considerable quantity of suits imported into the United Kingdom from West Germany are in fact manufactured in East Germany under the outward processing system, what action he intends to take.

If evidence is provided that suits of East German origin are entering the United Kingdom on the basis of false declarations of West German origin, I will have the matter investigated as a matter of urgency.