Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Customs Clearance Delays.

46.

asked the Minister for Finance if in view of the complaints by 40 per cent of the firms mentioned in the Industrial Development Authority survey about customs clearance delays he will meet the industrialists concerned and take immediate action to remove this obstacle to increased employment bearing in mind that an earlier report brought this matter to his attention in 1965.

The survey team emphasised that it was not possible to investigate the various complaints made by managements in order to establish their validity. They also said that the vast majority of the firms involved indicated that most of the problems encountered by them were characteristic of new industries establishing anywhere.

A number of measures have been taken in recent years to facilitate the free flow of trade and the inter-departmental working group which reported in 1965 on the question of accelerating the movement of cargo through sea and air ports found that only a relatively small proportion of delays could be directly attributed to customs clearance procedures and that most delays occurred before the goods were presented to customs for clearance, and, to a lesser extent, after clearance.

I am of course prepared to meet any of the interests concerned to discuss how matters can be further improved.