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Asbestos: Imports

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what checks are undertaken to prevent the direct or indirect importation of manufactured products containing asbestos. (261866)

I have been asked to reply.

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 (SI 2006 No. 2739) prohibit the importation of asbestos or any product containing it unless allowed by an exemption. Customs declarations for consignments from non EU countries brought into free circulation are checked by HM Revenue and Customs who select for further scrutiny those declarations using a commodity code indicating that asbestos may be present. Inquiries are undertaken to ascertain if asbestos is, in fact, present and if any such goods qualify for an exemption or must be detained. For indirectly imported goods, such as those already in free circulation inside the EU, the single market means that import control checks were dependent on the first member state which the goods entered.