HC Deb 14 July 1980 vol 988 c390W
Mr. Kilfedder

asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he will introduce stricter monitoring of the multi-fibre arrangement and promote an investigation into the reasons why the quotas exceeded the licences issued.

Mr. Parkinson

Imports from low-cost sources of goods covered by the arrangements associated with the multi-fibre arrangement are admitted only on production of a valid import licence. In the majority of cases such licences are issued against licences issued by the exporting country. In the case of countries where the arrangements are based on formal quotas, import licences are not issued in excess of the agreed levels, except for re-export. This automatic limitation does not operate in the case of imports where the system is based on voluntary restraint arrangements, but we are naturally always aware if export licences are issued in excess of the agreed levels and such cases are taken up promptly with the country concerned by the European Commission. For technical reasons, the figures for actual imports as recorded in theOverseas Trade Statistics are not comparable with the quotas or the agreed levels.