HC Deb 31 July 1974 vol 878 cc229-30W
Mr. Blaker

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will make a statement on the EEC proposals designed to simplify procedure for trade between the EEC and EFTA countries.

Dr. Gilbert

The Commission has recently sent to the Council proposals for a simplified procedure in trade between the EEC and EFTA countries which relate to the issue of movement certificates, the documents which exporters must furnish to ensure that their goods benefit in the importing country from the appropriate preferential rate of Customs duty. At present exporters must submit movement certificates to Customs authorities for endorsement before issue; the new proposals would permit exporters who satisfy certain conditions and who are approved by the Customs either to use certificates which have already been endorsed by Customs or to endorse and issue the certificates themselves without submission to Customs, subject to the provision of suitable guarantees and the right of the Customs to carry out any checks they consider necessary.

These proposals have been agreed with the EFTA countries, and the Commission has asked the Council to adopt them in time for the new arrangements to come into operation at the beginning of September. The new procedure will significantly reduce the formalities which apply to trade between the EEC and the EFTA countries, and will be generally welcomed by exporters.