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Tuesday, 16 November 1976
Page: 2693

Mr HOWARD (Bennelong) (Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs) - I move:

Customs Tariffproposals Nos 24 and 25 (1976)

The Customs Tariffproposals I have just tabled relate to proposed alterations to the Customs Tariff Act 1966. Customs Tariffproposals No. 24 give effect to the Government's decision on recommendations made by the Industries Assistance Commission in its report on Leather and Leather Substitute Products. The effect of this decision is that, in the long term, a rate of 25 per cent will be applied to imports of leather and leather products except those of artificial fur which will be subject to a duty of 12 per cent.

The Government did not accept completely the recommendations of the Industries Assistance Commission in respect of the phasing arrangements in relation to handbags, wallets, belts, travel goods and similar products. The Commission recommended that a duty of 34 per cent be held for one year, after which it be reduced to the long term rate of 25 per cent. Following a recent survey of conditions in the industry, which is composed predominantly of small businesses, the Government has decided that duties on these products should be phased down more gradually than recommended by the IAC. Accordingly, they will be subject to a general rate of 34 per cent for 2 years, reducing to 30 per cent in the third year and then to 25 per cent in the fourth year. Goods of New Zealand origin, other than leather wallets, will be admitted free of duty. The duty on these wallets will be increased to 25 per cent from their present duty of 6 per cent.

Customs Tariffproposals No. 25 (1976) give effect to the Government's decision on recommendations made by the Industries Assistance Commission in its report on ADP equipment and parts. The effect of this decision is that a duty of 6 per cent will apply to imports of ADP equipment and parts with the exception of cathode ray display terminals, to which a duty of 24 per cent will apply.

In addition to the 6 per cent duty, the production of ADP equipment, other than parts, will be supplemented by bounty for a period of 7 years. A bounty equivalent to 20 per cent of value added in Australia by ADP equipment manufacturers will be paid for the first 3 years. For the fourth and fifth year the bounty will be equivalent to IS per cent of value added and for the remaining 2 years equivalent to 7.5 per cent of value added. Some changes of an administrative nature are also included in these Proposals. A comprehensive summary of the changes which operate from tomorrow is now being circulated to honourable members. I should make it clear to the House that eligibility for the bounty will operate from the date of enactment of the relevant bounty legislation.

I commend the Proposals to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Lionel Bowen) adjourned.

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