HC Deb 18 February 1924 vol 169 cc1339-41W

asked the President of the Board of Trade if his attention has been called to the issue in October of a general order to officers of His Majesty's Customs instructing them in dealing with imports under the Safeguarding of Industries Act to query all cases where goods are invoiced at values which appear to be below the current fair market price for such goods; whether this order extends to

from Russia to Great Britain for the years 3913, 1922, and 1923?


The declared value of merchandise imported into and exported from the United Kingdom which was registered as consigned from or to Russia during the years specified were as follow:

Latvia and Lithuania in 1922 and 1923 was as follows:—

cases other than those which prima facie give rise for legitimate suspicion of attempts to evade the Act; whether he will indicate under what authority it is sought to vary the terms of the Act stipulating that the value of any imported goods shall be taken to be the price which an importer would give for the goods delivered to him, freight and insurance paid, in bond at the port of embarkation; and whether it is the intention of the Board of Trade to appoint an impartial umpire to fix the fair market value in cases where the invoice value may be disputed?


I have been asked to reply to this question. There has been no general instruction in the sense suggested, but probably the hon. Member is referring to a circular limited in its application to a particular class of goods in which the lowness of the values declared in certain instances was giving rise to priâ facie suspicion as to the bona fides of the invoice prices on which they were based. On a satisfactory explanation of the circumstances the circular was withdrawn. As regards the last part of the Question, I would explain that, under Section 10 of the Act, any importer who is dissatisfied with the value fixed by the Commissioners of Customs and Excise may appeal to the referee appointed by the Lord Chancellor.