HL Deb 10 December 1957 vol 206 cc959-60

2.47 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, having regard to their recognition of the advantages of an internationally accepted common terminology in the field of tariff legislation and practice, they have sought the co-operation of other countries, in particular the United States of America, to this end, and with what result.]


My Lords, Her Majesty's Government took a leading part in the work which led up to the signing, in 1950, by thirteen Western European countries, of three Conventions dealing with customs matters. Two of these Conventions, one establishing a Customs Co-operation Council and the other dealing with Valuation of Goods, have been ratified by Her Majesty's Government and have come into force. The third is the Convention on Nomenclature for the Classification of Goods in Customs Tariffs. If the Import Duties Bill, which is now before Parliament, is passed, Her Majesty's Government propose to ratify this Convention and to adopt the tariff classification, known as the Brussels Nomenclature. Information about the Brussels Nomenclature and the countries which signed the Convention, was given in a White Paper published last month.

The Customs Co-operation Council is open to world-wide membership. The Council now includes seventeen European countries, plus Egypt, Indonesia and Pakistan. Observers from a number of countries (including the United States of America) and international organisations have attended sessions of the Council and shown great interest in its activities.