HC Deb 26 April 2002 vol 384 c498W
Mr. Hammond

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many new tariffs the EU has imposed on imported goods in the past 10 years. [52307]

Ms Hewitt

I have been asked to reply.

The Common Customs Tariff of the EU has over 10,400 tariff lines. Over the past ten years the EU has progressively reduced its tariffs in accordance with its GATT/WTO obligations. Over the same period for most tariff lines "preferential" (i.e. lower) rates have been charged on imports from a range of countries. In addition, on around 1000 tariff lines the EU has autonomously suspended duties on goods not produced or not available in sufficient quantity in the Community. As well as reducing tariffs, the EU has introduced anti-dumping or countervailing duties in response to unfair trade.

Within this complex framework of multilateral obligations, preferential agreements, tariff nomenclature changes, autonomous suspensions and remedies to unfair trade, the EU has imposed and modified a wide range of duties.

The detail of all these changes could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

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