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Thursday, 16 September 1971
Page: 1443

Mr CHIPP (Hotham) (Minister for Customs and Excise) - I move:

Customs Tariff Proposals No. 20 (1971).

The Customs Tariff Proposals which I have just tabled relate to proposed amend ments to the Customs Tariff 1966-1971 and will operate from tomorrow. These Proposals implement the Government's adoption of the Tariff Board recommendations on: light weight cotton sheeting: and chain and parts therefor, of iron or steel. and the Special Advisory Authority report on: woven man-made fibre fabrics.

In the report on light weight cotton sheeting weighing less than 3½ ounces per square yard, the Tariff Board has recommended that a general tariff rate of 30 per cent be applied, with the preferential tariff rate set according to international commitments. Presently such sheeting is dutiable at a rate of½ per cent general tariff and free preferential tariff but certain better quality sheeting known as 'percale' is dutiable by application of a Substitutes and Imitations Notice at 55 per cent with a maximum of 25c per square yard, general tariff. The Substitutes and Imitations Notice will now be revoked.

On chain the Board has recommended rates of 35 per cent general tariff and 25 per cent preferential tariff for sprocket and conveyor chain and parts therefor. For other chains rates of 25 per cent general tariff and 17½ per cent preferential tariff have been recommended.

In its report the Board noted that since its 1965 report on chain there has been no significant increase in local content in the manufacture of transmission chain and suggested that by-law entry of components for the manufacture of chain be discontinued. This suggestion has not been accepted because such action would be contrary to established by-law policy. However, interested Departments will consult with the companies concerned to review existing and proposed levels of local content and the implications for future by-law entry for components in this area.

I turn now to the Special Advisory Authority's report on woven man-made fibre fabrics. The Special Advisory Authority found that urgent action was necessary to protect the Australian industry and recommended temporary additional duties of 10c per square yard on most types of imported man-made fibre fabrics and 15c per square yard on woven fabrics containing over 10 per cent and less than 50 per cent of silk in admixture with 20 per cent or more of man-made fibres. Polyester cotton mixture fabrics weighing less than 3.8 ounces per square yard and some other types of fabrics will be exempt from these temporary duties. Also included in Proposals No. 20 are changes making certain marginal and preferential adjustments in respect to the plastics report tabled last month, including a simplified arrangement of tariff classifications in respect to plastic articles. A comprehensive summary of the changes and duty rates is being circulated to honourable members. I commend the Proposals.

Debate (on motion by Mr Crean) adjourned.

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