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Volume 26: debated on Tuesday 29 June 1982

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asked the Minister for Trade what is the import duty imposed by Spain on the import of forgings and tools into that country; and what are the figures for imports into the United Kingdom from Spain.

[pursuant to his reply, 18 June 1982, c. 209.]: Forgings having the character of a finished article—the vast majority—are classified for Customs purposes as that article and not separately as forgings. It follows that no separate trade statistics for forgings are available, and that the rates of import duty are those for the finished articles. Examples of Spanish duties on imports from European Community countries are 16·3 per cent. for engine parts—CCCN 84.06 D II b—and between 16·3 and 18·7 per cent. for transmission shafts, crankshafts, gearboxes, and so on—CCCN 84.63.Spanish import duties on tools—CCCN 82—from European Community countries vary between 0·75 per cent. and 17·6 per cent.; most lie between 9·9 per cent. and 14·3 per cent. In 1980 the United Kingdom imported tools worth £4·2 million from Spain.

asked the Minister for Trade if he will publish a table showing the United Kingdom's balance of trade with Spain for each year since 1965.

[pursuant to his reply, 28 June 1982, c. 209.]: The available information is as follows:

United Kingdom Crude Balance of Trade with Spain, 1966–80
(£ million)
1967+ 13
1970+ 18
1971+ 19
1972+ 38
1977+ 28


Overseas Trade Statistics/ Annual Statements of Trade of the United Kingdom.


1. Crude balance: exports valued fob less imports valued cif.

2. Figures include trade with the Canary Islands and, for years 1970–80 only, Ceuta and Melilla.

3. Those for 1970 onwards are on the current 1981 statistical basis and are not directly comparable with the figures for earlier years.

asked the Minister for Trade whether he has had discussions with his colleagues in the European Economic Community about requiring Spain to reduce its import duties on forgings and tools to levels similar to those imposed by the European Economic Community or, conversely, raising import duties on Spanish goods to an equivalent level to those imposed by Spain; and if he will make a statement.

[pursuant to his reply, 28 June 1982, c. 209.]: The present disparity of tariffs is in accordance with the agreement of 1970; I refer the hon. Member to my answer to her question for 28 June 1982.

asked the Minister for Trade what progress is being made to renegotiate the trading agreement signed between Spain and the European Economic Community in 1970 which gave Spain preferential treatment.

[pursuant to his reply, 28 June 1982, c. 210.]: The most effective remedy to the current imbalance of trading opportunity between the Community and Spain will be Spain's early accession to the Community. Negotiations to this end are in progress; there are no separate negotiations to revise the 1970 agreement.