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Child Pornography

Volume 453: debated on Tuesday 28 November 2006

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Customs Consolidation Act 1876 in preventing child pornography from being imported into the UK; (100504)

(2) what action his Department is undertaking to prevent the import of child pornography into the UK.

The prohibition on the import of indecent and obscene material which includes child pornography is created by Section 42 of the Customs Consolidation Act 1876 (CCA). This Act places a prohibition on all visual material that is obscene or indecent including any material depicting a child under 16 years of age engaged in any form of sexual activity.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs will seize imports of child pornography breaching this prohibition under section 139 (1) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 (CEMA). HMRC annually assesses the effectiveness of our enforcement responsibilities and since 2004 has reported seizure data for child pornography in the HMRC Annual Reports.