HC Deb 13 February 1984 vol 54 cc76-7W
Mr. Foulkes

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the nature of the United Kingdom representation on the Common Customs Tariff Nomenclature Committee of the European Economic Community; what view was taken by the United Kingdom representative on the proposal to change the classification of imported hyacinth bulbs from chapter 06 to chapter 07; for what reason the Council of the European Community is now contemplating legislation by regulation on this matter; and what view is taken by Her Majesty's Government of the proposal to change the classification of this commodity from ornamental plant to vegetable.

Mr. Hayhoe

The United Kingdom is represented on the Committee on Common Customs Tariff Nomenclature by a tariff classification expert from HM Customs and Excise. The common customs tariff is based on the Customs Cooperation Council's international Nomenclature and under the agreed rules of interpretation bulbs for which it is not possible to make a distinction between the kinds used as food and those for planting are required to be classified as vegetables in Tariff chapter 7. The Committee was concerned solely with the classification of Muscari Comosum commonly known both as 'wild onions' and 'feather hyacinth'. Although this bulb is not eaten in this country, it is consumed as a vegetable in significant quantities in certain other member states and the UK representative agreed that it should be classified in chapter 7 in accordance with the rules of interpretation mentioned above.

An EEC regulation to ensure uniform application of the common customs tariff was published in the Official Journal of the European Communities on 4 February 1984 as Council Regulation (EEC) No. 288/84 of 31 January 1984. The regulation enters into force on 25 February.