HC Deb 18 June 1998 vol 314 c274W
Mr. Maclean

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer in what circumstances United Kingdom ferries will be able to sell duty free after 1999. [45661]

Dawn Primarolo

The European Commission has set out in a working document its view, based on interpretation of Community law, of the arrangements which should apply to sales on board ships following the abolition of intra-EU duty-free sales after 30 June 1999. They express the view that (i) duty-free sales of goods to be carried away will be allowed only on journeys which touch the territory of third countries; (ii) duty-free sales of goods to be carried away will not be allowed on voyages directly between Community ports—even if part of a ship's voyage is in international waters; and (iii) duty-free sales of goods for consumption on board will continue to be governed by the national provisions of member states until the Council adopts Community provisions on stores for boats and aircraft. Commission chaired discussions at official level are now underway in Brussels to work out the detail of these proposals.