§ Sir W. Bromley-Davenport
asked the President of the Board of Trade which of the European Free Trade Association countries concede preferential rates of duty on imports of cider, beer, wines or spirits produced in other European Free Trade Association countries; whether he will provide details thereof; and whether he will consider arranging for such preferences to be granted by the United Kingdom.
§ Mrs. Gwyneth Dunwoody
Ciders and wines are in Annex D to the E.F.T.A. Convention and are not, therefore, eligible for E.F.T.A. tariff treatment. But Denmark, Norway and Sweden allow certain categories of wine of E.F.T.A. origin to enter free of import duty.
The treatment of alcoholic beverages of E.F.T.A. origin which are not in Annex D varies according to the type of beverage and the country concerned; all E.F.T.A. countries give preferences on some beverages. In some cases, the duty is regarded wholly as a revenue duty and no preference is accorded; in other cases, part of the duty has been declared a revenue duty and the remainder (the protective element) has been eliminated; in still other cases, the whole of the duty has been eliminated. In Portugal, which has a slow timetable of E.F.T.A. tariff reductions, beverages with a protective element 27W in the duty have had 40 per cent. of this element eliminated. All the other E.F.T.A. countries also levy other duties and taxes at varying rates on alcoholic beverages.
The United Kingdom gives no preferences on the alcoholic beverages in Annex
Tariff Heading Rate of Duty Full EFTA 22.03 Beer made from malt (A) Of any description (other than mum, spruce, black beer, Berlin White beer or other preparations of a similar character, of an original gravity of 1200° or more) where the worts thereof were before fermentation of a gravity: For every 36 gallons £ s. d. £ s. d. (1) of 1030° or less 10 8 8 9 8 8 (2) exceeding 1030° for the first 1030° 10 8 8 9 8 8 for every additional degree in excess of 1030° 8 0 8 0 (B) of the descriptions called or similar to mum, spruce, black beer, Berlin White beer or other preparations of a similar character, where the worts thereof were before fermentation of a gravity of 1200° or more. 22.09 Spirits (other than those of heading 22.08); liqueurs and other spirituous beverages; compound alcoholic preparations (known as "concentrated extracts") for the manufacture of beverages (A) Liqueurs, cordials, mixtures, and other preparations in bottle entered in such a manner as to indicate that the strength in not to be tested: per liquid gallon £ s. d. £ s. d. (1) if warehoused 3 years or more 23 6 0 23 2 6 (2) if not warehoused, or warehoused less than 3 years 23 8 0 23 4 6 (B) other spirits (including spirituous beverages having the character of spirits) and liqueurs: Per proof gallon £ s. d. £ s. d. (1) of warehoused 3 years or more 17 5 3 17 2 9 (2) if not warehoused, or warehoused less than 3 years 17 6 9 17 4 3 (c) Other 10 per cent. Free
The United Kingdom thus grants preference on imports of beer and spirits of E.F.T.A. origin but not on wines and cider. Changes in these arrangements are a matter for the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
I shall be pleased to supply the hon. and gallant Member with details of duties in the other E.F.T.A. countries if he will let me know those which particularly interest him.