HC Deb 21 December 1999 vol 341 c497W
Mr. Chope

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs under what statutory authority staff at British embassies within the European Union are able to purchase alcohol duty-free. [102769]

Mr. Hain

Article 36(1) of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations obliges the receiving State to permit entry of, and grant exemption from all customs duties, taxes and related charges on, articles for the official use of the diplomatic mission and articles for the personal use of a diplomatic agent or members of his/her family forming part of the household. The matter in which that obligation is transposed into domestic law is a matter for each individual State Party to the Convention. In the UK Article 36 of the Convention has the force of law by virtue of the Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964.

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