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Imports

Volume 13: debated on Thursday 19 November 1981

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what customs duties, import levies and other restrictions are now imposed on United Kingdom imports from the Commonwealth of butter, cheese, lamb, beef, sugar, wheat, fruit and vegetables; and how these compare with 1972.

The information for 1972 and 1980 was provided by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for trade to the hon. Member for Grimsby (Mr. Mitchell) on 7 August 1980.—[Vol. 990, c. 241–42.] The import arrangements remain substantially unaltered except for the rates of levy and the arrangements for imports of sheepmeat and butter. Examples of rates of levy applicable on 1 November 1981—31 October 1981 in the case of wheat—are as follows:

£/tonne
Butter877·63
Cheese1,145·82

£/tonne

Beef942·34
Wheat43·86
Sugar

*171·58

* In practice, United Kingdom imports from the Commonwealth are normally covered by the Lomé convention and enter the Community levy-free.

Imports of lamb under voluntary restraint agreements with principal suppliers are subject to a reduced charge of 10 per cent. ad valorem. Any imports outside these arrangements are subject to levies which cannot exceed the 20 per cent. tariff rate bound in the GATT. The current arrangements for imports of butter from New Zealand allow for 94,000 tonnes to be imported in 1981 at a reduced rate of levy.