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Thursday, 9 December 1976


Mr Hurford asked the Minister for Overseas Trade, upon notice:

(   1) On which goods imported from developing countries, referred to in his statement on 17 June 1976, have rates of duty been increased.

(2)   What were the previous, and what are the new rates of duty on each of these goods.

(3)   What are the rates of duty on these goods which apply to other countries.

(4)   Which goods which have previously received tariff preference have had their tariff preference removed.

(5)   What were the values of imports from developing countries of each of the goods referred to in parts ( 1 ) to (4) of this question during 1973-74 and 1974-75, and for as much ofl 975-76 as information is available.

(6)   What is expected to be the reduction in the value of imports from developing countries of each of these goods as a result of the new tariff arrangements in 1 976-77.

(7)   What definition of a developing country is used for the purpose of administering the system of tariff preferences for developing countries.


Mr Howard -The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows;

(1)   to (5) The information requested on duty increases arising from the 1976 review of the system of tariff preferences for developing countries has been set out below in three tables, which provide a list of all tariff items affected, together with relevant rates of duty and import statistics for 1973-74, 1974-75 and 1975-76.

The three tables differentiate between goods on which the Developing Country rate of duty has been increased but which still enjoy a tariff preference; goods on which the Developing Country rate of duty was increased to the General Tariff; and goods which remain in the system of tariff preferences but for which some developing countries were excluded from preference on 1 July 1976.

The explanatory notes in the tables show that on the basis of Australian imports in 1973-74, trade from developing countries actually subject to increased duties resulting from the 1976 Review was valued at about $23.3m. However, on the basis of 1975-76, imports of the same products had almost doubled to $4 1 . 1 m.

(6)   It is not expected that the value of imports from developing countries will decrease as a result of the duty increases.

(7)   There are no fixed criteria for determining whether a country should be a beneficiary under the Australian system of tariff preferences for developing countries. However the following factors are taken into account: the country's desire to be a beneficiary; the country's level of economic development; the practice of other preference-giving countries in respect of that particular country.







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