HL Deb 23 February 1983 vol 439 c821WA
Lord Houghton of Sowerby

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What steps are being taken to make effective the voluntary ban on seal pup products as from 1st March 1983; what agreement has been reached with the British Fur Trade Association; and whether the EEC decision means that member states will impose the ban through statutory procedures of import control.

Lord Skelmersdale

The resolution adopted in December requires member states to take whatever measures are necessary to prevent imports of certain harp and hooded seal pup products. Member states have not taken the view that statutory import controls are necessary to comply with the resolution, although Italy already has certain statutory import controls. In the United Kingdom, the British Fur Trade Association has recommended to its members that they should not import these products for a year from 1st March—before the start of the culling season—to allow further investigation of the issues. HM Customs and Excise is establishing three new tariff headings which will enable importations of harp or hooded seal material to be clearly identified. Customs officers will also scrutinise importations declared under closely allied headings, to check that they are not being used for harp and hooded seal pup products.