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Monday, 14 October 1991
Page: 1875


Mr BEDDALL (-Minister for Small Business and Customs)(9.42 p.m.) —-I move:

Customs Tariff Proposals Nos 8 and 9 (1991).

The tariff proposals which I have just tabled relate to proposed alterations to the Customs Tariff Act 1987. The alterations result from the Government's decisions on the Industry Commission's report No. 9, The Commercial Tariff Concession and By-law Systems. These systems allow imported goods to be entered at concessional rates of duty. These initiatives were announced by my colleague the Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce (Senator Button) on 24 September 1991.

Customs tariff proposal No. 8 introduces a new schedule 4, item No. 56, to provide duty free entry of capital equipment which is technologically more advanced, more efficient or more productive than equipment currently available in Australia. This concession will operate on and from 12 March 1991 and will enable Australian manufacturers to import state of the art equipment to assist them in becoming more internationally competitive. The Government's intention to introduce such a concessional item was announced in the March industry statement.

The changes in proposal No. 9, which will operate on and from 1 October 1991, will expand or extend concessions already in place and introduce a new concession for the duty free importation of certain raw materials and intermediate goods of chemicals, plastics and paper and allied products.

The coverage of item 31 in schedule 4 is expanded to include all aircraft parts, materials and test equipment for use in the manufacture, repair or maintenance of aircraft, other than goods for use in the servicing of aircraft.

This change affirms the Government's objective to develop and maintain the international competitiveness of Australia's aerospace manufacturing and aviation industries by providing duty free access to the specialised parts and materials used in the manufacture, repair or maintenance of aircraft.

Item 36B in schedule 4 allows duty free entry of a number of chemicals provided these goods are used for a specific end use and contains a sunset clause which terminates the provisions from 31 December 1991. The change contained in this proposal cancels the sunset provisions.

New item 57 in schedule 4 is created to allow the duty free importation under strict end usage under security provisions of ethylene vinyl acetate, nitrocellulose or pyroxolin coated cotton bookbinding fabric, pharmaceutical grade gelatin, polyacrylamide flocculants and polycarbonate.

The objective of this item is to enhance the international competitiveness of Australian industry by allowing the duty free importation of these raw materials and intermediate goods that, in respect of the production of an end product, offer a substantial and demonstrable performance advantage over goods available in Australia in the normal course of business.

Summaries of alterations contained in these proposals have been prepared and are being circulated for the information of honourable members.

I commend the proposals to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr McLachlan) adjourned.