§ Mr. Thurnham
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the outcome of the Council of Ministers' meeting on the internal market held in Brussels on 8 March.
§ Mr. Fletcher
The meeting of the Council on 8 March which I attended had a useful exchange of views on liberalisation of freight haulage and reduction in frontier formalities, preparatory to further discussions in the Transport Council on 22 March. France confirmed its intention to bring forward the date of implementation of the frontier facilitation directive to 1 January 1985. This directive contains several practical proposals for reducing waiting times at intra-Community frontiers.
The Council agreed that the temporary use regulation should be extended to commercial samples. This will permit samples to be imported temporarily without payment of taxes and without requiring any form of financial guarantee. The list of samples to benefit from this simplified procedure will be approved at a further Council.
The Council set a target date of June 1984 to prepare and agree final proposals for the single administrative document, which will replace the multiplicity of different national forms used for customs control in intra-Community trade. The Council also requested a report by April on the practical possibilities for increasing the limits of duty-paid travellers allowances.
There was a further discussion of the proposed common commercial policy regulation. The European Commission signalled its intention shortly to produce new proposals to seek to bridge the remaining differences between the positions of member states.
The presidency undertook to hold a further meeting of the Council devoted to liberalisation of trade in goods and services before the end of June.