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Thursday, 21 May 1970


Mr CHIPP (HOTHAM, VICTORIA) (Minister for Customs and Excise) - The statements read as follows:

Temporary Protection Metal-working Machine Tools

Released 4 p.m., 2nd October 1969

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade and Industry (Mr J. McEwen) today announced that temporary duties would apply to imports of certain general purpose lathes and grinding machines following adoption of a report by the Special Advisory Authority. The temporary duties would operate from tomorrow. They will be additional to the normal duties of 40% (General), 27½% (Preferential) on these items. The Minister explained that on general purpose lathes, the additional temporary duties would be at the rate of 7½% ad valorem plus the amount, if any, by which the f.o.b. price of the imported lathe is less than a base figure which varies according to the lathe's size. On grinding machines, the additional temporary duties would be at the rate of 12½% ad valorem. The temporary additional duties would not apply to goods in direct transit to Australia on 19 August 1969 provided they are entered for home consumption within 21 days after importation.

Mr McEwensaid that the Special Advisory Authority had found that urgent action was necessary to protect the Australian industry against serious damage from import competition pending receipt and consideration by the Government of the Tariff Board's report on a current inquiry on Machine Tools. The public hearing on this inquiry has not yet been completed. Mr McEwen added that the Special Advisory Authority had advised that temporary protection was not necessary in relation to imports of radial drills, or imports of tool and cutter grinding machines. The duties on these products would not be varied.

Reports of me Tariff Board

Released 4 p.ni., 10th October 1969

The Minister for Trade and Industry today released reports of the Tariff Board on flexible metal cubing, piping and transmission shafts; time switches and movements and parts therefor; taximeters; compressed gas cylinders; and almonds. Mr McEwen said that the Government had accepted the recommendations and findings in each of the reports. The duty changes would apply as from next Monday morning. The Minister explained that the only change in the duties on flexible metal tubing and piping would be a reduction of the duties on tubing and piping consisting wholly or essentially of spirally wound wire. As a result the duties on all the goods covered by the report would in future be 7i% General and Free Preferential.

The duties on time of day synchonous motor time switches and movements and parts therefor would be increased from 30% General and 22±% Preferential to 35% General and 25% Preferential. The duties on time switches controlled by electric master clocks would be reduced to 7i% General and Free Preferential. These rates would continue to apply also to other time switches, movements and parts.

In the case of taximeters, there would be no change in the present ad valorem duties of 35% General and 25% Preferential, but the alternative fixed rate duties would be removed. All parts and accessories for taximeters would become dutiable at the same rates as those applying to the taximeters. Because of impending developments in the industry, it is intended to have the Tariff Board review the protective needs of the industry at the end of three years.

The effect of the adoption of the Tariff Board's recommendations on gas cylinders would be to increase the duties on most seamless cylinders from 12i% General and Free Preferential to 35% General and 25% Preferential. Duties of 40% General and 30% Preferential would apply to cryogenic containers and welded gas cylinders over 350 lb water capacity. The duties on smaller welded cylinders would remain at 12i% General and Free Preferential.

The Minister added that adoption of the Tariff Board's recommendations on almonds would increase the duties on most imports, particularly on processed and packaged almonds, which up until now have been mainly free of duty. The new duties would be 15% (General and Preferential) on almonds in the shell, kernels and processed almonds

The Minister also announced that other tariff changes of an administrative nature would be made at the same time. Action would be taken to make materials which are substitutes for low boiling point brake fluids dutiable at the same rates of duty, 25% General and 15% Preferential, as currently apply to low boiling brake fluids of the type produced in Australia. An administrative change is also being made to apply to diodes for alternators, for use as original equipment in motor vehicles, the same duties as normally apply to similar diodes used in other applications.

Reports of the Tariff Board

Released 4 p.m., 17th October 1969

The Minister for Trade and Industry (Mr McEwen) today released reports of the Tariff Board on drawing, measuring and calculating instruments; syringes, injection or puncture needles, etc.; forged steel flanges; and belts, belting and woven cotton fabrics. Mr McEwen said that the Government had accepted the recommendations and findings in each of the reports. The duty changes would apply as from next Monday morning.

The Minister explained that in the case of drafting machines, duties would be increased from 30% General and 20% Preferential to 40% General and 30% Preferential. The present duties on steel measuring tapes less than 15 feet in length would be reduced from 35% General and 27* % Preferential to 27i% General and 20% Preferential. A uniform level of duties of 35% General and 17±% Preferential would apply to other drawing, measuring and calculating instruments covered by the Tariff Board's recommendations.

Mr McEwensaid that duties on syringes of artificial plastic materials would be reduced from 35% General and 25% Preferential, to 30% General and 20% Preferential, while duties on other syringes would remain at li% General and Free Preferential. For the present, the existing ad valorem duties of 423% General and 25%

Preferential would continue to apply to injection or puncture needles, whether or not the needles were imported with syringes, but current temporary specific duties on certain disposable hypodermic needles would cease to operate. On and from 1st January 1973 the duties on needles would be reduced to 30% General and 20% Preferential. The Minister added, however, that as the factory producing needles had been destroyed by fire, the goods will be admitted under by-law until local manufacture is recommenced.

Mr McEwenwent on to say that duties on imports from New Zealand of syringes, needles, etc. and on drawing, measuring and calculating instruments would be duty free. On some goods, therefore, the duties on New Zealand goods would be removed earlier than the date presently provided in the New Zealand-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

There would be no change in rates of duty on forged steel flanges. The present duties are 40% General and 28% Preferential.

The Minister added that adoption of the Tariff Board's recommendations on conveyor belts and belting would result in a reduction of duties on metal reinforced rubber belting to 30% General and 20% Preferential, and in the case of textile reinforced rubber belting, duty rates would become 35%, both General and Preferential. Rates for other vulcanised rubber belts and belting would be reduced to 35% General and 25% Preferential, whilst duties on PVC/ textile conveyor belting would be reduced to 40% General and 30% Preferential.

Other types of textile conveyor belting would be dutiable at increased rates of 40% General and 30% Preferential. Leather and composition leather belting would be dutiable at 35% General and 25% Preferential. These duty rates would also apply to conveyor and elevator belting imported as part of conveyor systems. Reduced rates of duty of 50% General, 40% Preferential would apply to woven cotton fabrics over 15 ounces per square yard. The present duties on these fabrics are mainly 60% General and 50% Preferential.

Report of Tariff Board

Released 4 p.m., 6th November 1969

The Minister for Trade and Industry (Mr McEwen) today released a report of the Tariff Board on chlorine and sodium hydroxide (caustic soda). Mr McEwen said the Government had adopted one of the alternatives recommended by the Board in ils report. As a consequence, the duties on caustic soda would be increased from the present rates of 25% (General) 15% (Preferential) to 55% (General) 45% (Preferential) as from tomorrow morning. No change would be made in the present duty free entry of chlorine. The Minister said that the present arrangement, under which producers of alumina for export secure supplies of caustic soda under bylaw would bc continued, In future, however, this arrangement would be extended to cover caustic soda used in the production of exports of aluminium metal, aluminium semi-fabricates, rare earth metals and rare earth hydrate.

Mr McEwenadded that the quantity of caustic soda needed to supply these export industries was far in excess of the availability of local supplies. The Government had expectations that, in time, large scale manufacturing plants would be established in Australia to supply this market at prices competitive with those in overseas countries.

New Zealand- Australia Free Trade Agreement

Released 4 p.m., 18th December 1969

The Minister for Trade and Industry (Mr McEwen) said today that the Australian and New Zealand Governments had reached agreement on a further list of commodities, mainly goods crf iron and steel, to be added to Schedule A of the New Zealand-Australia Free Trade Agreement as from 1st January 1970. The additional iron and steel products were being included in Schedule A subject to cerain conditions which were similar to those applying to some other neel items already included in the Agreement. Mr McEwen commented that these additions were part of a continuing process of extending the scope of the Free Trade Agreement and indicated the desire of both countries to expand the opportunities for mutually beneficial trade between them.

 

Temporary Protection Vegetable Oils

Released 4 p.m., 24th December 1969

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade and Industry (Mr J. McEwen) today announced that temporary duties would apply to imports of certain vegetable oils following adoption of a report by the Special Advisory Authority. Mr McEwen said that the temporary duties recommended would be in the form of sliding scale duties on the main oils covered by the report and a temporary ad valorem duty on epoxidised vegetable oils. The temporary duties would operate from 30th December 1969. The Minister explained that the sliding scale temporary duty would be equal to the amount, if any, by which the f.o.b. price of the imported oil was less than $1.00 per gallon. It would apply to peanut oil, soya bean oil, rape seed oil, linseed oil, sunflower seed oil, safflower seed oil, cotton seed oil and maize oil. The temporary duty, which will be in addition to normal duties, would not operate where the f.o.b. price is $1.00 or more per gallon. On epoxidised vegetable oils, the temporary duty would be at the rate of 15% ad valorem. This duty would also be in addition to normal duties. The temporary duties will not apply to goods in direct transit to Australia on 12th November, 1969, provided they were entered for home consumption on arrival.

Mr McEwensaid that the question of the long term protective needs of the industry had been referred to the Tariff Board. The temporary protection now applied was holding action pending the Government's decision on receipt of the Board's report.

Temporary Protection Curtain Hooks of Base Metal

Released 4 p.m., 6th February 1970

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade and Industry (Mr J. McEwen) today announced that a temporary duty of 25% ad valorem would apply to imports of curtain hooks of base metal, following adoption of a report by a Special Advisory Authority. Mr McEwen explained that the temporary duty, which would operate from 9th February 1970, would be in addition to the normal duties. The temporary duty would not apply to goods in direct transit to Australia on 8th December 1969. provided they were entered for home consumption on arrival. Mr McEwen said that the question of the long-term protection of a range of base metal fittings and mountings, including curtain hooks, was under examination by the Tariff Board. The temporary protection now applied was holding action pending the Government's decision on receipt of the Board's report.

Comprehensive documentation setting out the various changes in the rates of duty is now being distributed for the use of honourable members during the debate on this Bill. I commend the Bill.


Mr Kelly - Mr Speaker, may I have the permission of the House to ask the Minister a very short question about this matter?







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