HC Deb 31 March 1958 vol 585 cc101-2W
Mr. Nabarro

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether he will take steps at an early date to extend to bicycles the provisions of Section 22 of the Finance Act, 1946, which provides for the remission of Purchase Tax on mechanically-propelled vehicles, acquired by persons only temporarily in the United Kingdom and about to be resident outside the United Kingdom;

(2) whether he is aware that a London travel agency concerned with arrangements for American students visiting Great Britain and other European countries this summer has been informed that the Purchase Tax involved in the acquisition by them of over 200 new bicycles cannot be refunded despite the fact that these machines will be taken back to the United States of America by the students after the tour; and whether, in view of the indirect value of such a transaction to the dollar export trade, he will take steps to permit such refund;

(3) whether he is aware that a prospective dollar purchase of over 200 bicycles by a British tourist agency for the temporary use of American student tourists in this country is being prejudiced by the refusal of the Customs and Excise authorities to agree that Purchase Tax will be repayable when the machines are taken to the United States of America after the tour; and whether, in view of the fact that the outcome may be a decision to obtain the necessary bicycles in another European country, he will make special arrangements to deal with this matter.

Mr. Simon

Taxable goods can be bought tax-free by overseas visitors for exportation under the Personal Export Scheme. The possibility of going further and allowing goods to be used in this country before exportation has been exhaustively examined on a number of occasions. With the exception of the existing statutory scheme for motor vehicles, it was found that no practicable scheme can be devised which would not be open to serious abuse.