Exemptions and Reliefs

Part of Clause 2 – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd December 1968.

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Photo of Mr Harold Lever Mr Harold Lever , Manchester Cheetham 12:00 am, 3rd December 1968

I think that the hon. Gentleman could not have followed the argument advanced by the hon. Member for Barkston Ash as closely as I have. The hon. Member for Barkston Ash asked: if a close company has to find money for these deposits, will that be taken into account in assessing what percentage of the profits it is reasonable to retain in the business? I have said that it is obvious that if an importing company finds the deposits from profits nobody could reasonably demand that it should pay those deposits away in dividends. What could be more essential for the business of an importer than to find the deposits? I have also said that, far from losing this, they even gain a rather unusual advantage.

On the disputes procedure, I think that there has to be difference from the normal practice, because with dutiable goods the practice is to allow the goods to go into bonded warehouses and not to fall liable to duty until they are taken out, but it would seriously affect the deposit scheme if we allowed the same procedure here. So the deposit becomes payable, not when the goods are taken out of the warehouse, but when they are entered into the warehouse. I think that otherwise the machinery is adequate to deal with disputes in the same way as in any other part of the Customs area.

As to household effects, subsection (2) wholly exempts from the deposit personal effects of people arriving in the United Kingdom. Passengers' baggage is not required to be entered with Customs. Section 28 of the Customs and Excise Act, 1952, arranges this convenience. However valuable it may be, it would be impracticable to cover it in the import deposit scheme, under which repayment is to be made to a person named on a Customs entry. Household effects which are conveyed as freight, however, have to be entered and it is not impracticable to apply the deposit scheme to them.