An explanatory memorandum has been circulated for the information of Senators. The purpose of this Bill is to confirm two Orders made during 1969, under the Imposition of Duties Act, 1957, and the Finance Act, 1962. It is a statutory requirement that such orders must be confirmed not later than the end of the calendar year following that in which they are made, if they are not to cease to have statutory effect at the expiration of that period.
Order No. 178 was necessary because of a decision by the Customs Co-Operation Council regarding the classification of certain trailers in the Brussels Tariff. As you know, this country's Customs and Excise tariff is based on the internationally accepted Brussels nomenclature form of Customs classification. The effect of the council's decision was that some trailers, which were already liable to duty, were being re-classified at a tariff heading where duty was not payable. The order ensured that the trailers in question remained liable to duty on reclassification.
Order No. 180, which was made by the Government on the recommendation of the Minister for Finance, provided for the fourth tariff reduction on goods of United Kingdom origin, in accordance with the terms of the Free Trade Area Agreement. In addition, it provided for the maintenance of the special tariff concessions in favour of certain goods of Northern Ireland origin and implemented the remaining tariff concessions, at 55 headings, arising out of the Government's accession to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. The order also transferred the licensing powers in respect of a number of duties on wheaten products from the Minister for Industry and Commerce to the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries and made a number of minor changes in the Customs tariff.
I shall be glad to give any further information required in connection with the Bill.