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Import quota allocation system



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BACA

DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS

IMPORT QUOTA ALLOCATION SYSTEM 79/4 '

The Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs, Mr Ual. Fife, said today that he had written to the Chairman of the Industries Assistance Commission, Mr McKinnon, requesting the Commission to report on appropriate principles of quota allocation in the context of its inquiries into industries where quotas were presently operating.

Mr Fife recalled that the recent review of the adminis¬≠ tration of the import quota system which had led to changes announced earlier’ this week had raised issues which went beyond administration and that it was necessary for these issues to be subject to public examination. Significant proposals received ¬∑ included sale of quota, the broadening of quota product categories and placing quotas on a value basis.

The Minister said that it was appropriate before these, proposals were given further consideration by the Government that they should be examined in the context of the Commission's public inquiry process. He said this would enable all interested parties

to present views and to have them considered in a public forum.

Mr Fife drew particular attention to the (Commission1 s current inquiry into long term assistance arrangements for the textiles, clothing and footwear industries where quotas apply to a wide range of products. The Minister said that it would be highly desirable if submissions on the principles of the quota allocation system could be made to the Commission at the earliest possible time.

Mr Fife said that in order to assist the Commission in its work he had directed his Department to provide the Commission with papers relating to the quota allocation system.

The Minister said that in any consideration of the possible sale of quota the requirements of small importing businesses would be taken into account and should proposals be brought forward they would ensure small business interests were safeguarded.

CANBERRA, A.C.T. 7 January 1979.