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Thursday, 4 December 1986
Page: 3334

Senator GRIMES (Minister for Community Services)(10.35) —I will certainly get a full and careful report for Senator Chaney. But I can assist him a little further, I think. If a lawn-mower engine and a lawn-mower chassis are imported together but not assembled, by application of the interpretation of the Customs Tariff Act they are, in fact, treated as a complete lawn-mower. If the lawn-mower satisfies the rules of origin for New Zealand goods; that is if it has 50 per cent New Zealand content, even though the mower is not of New Zealand origin, it will be accorded duty free entry. I am not sure how one calculates 50 per cent in those circumstances. I will have to check that. If, however, an engine is imported into New Zealand and then exported to Australia without it being associated with the lawn-mower chassis, what is being imported is not a lawn-mower but simply an engine not of New Zealand origin and it would then be dutiable at the rate applicable to engines. If it is claimed that engines on their own are being imported duty free, this will be investigated. That matter was raised by Senator Chaney last night. Obviously the honourable senator needs a more detailed answer. I will ensure that he gets it. We cannot have this getting around the Customs legislation which it seems may be happening.