asked the Minister for Finance whether he is aware that, because of customs requirements arising out of the imposition of the special import levy, supplies of Belleek pottery are being diverted from the Republic of Ireland to Canada, and what action he proposes to take to ensure that supplies continue to be available in this part of the country.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Belleek Pottery Supplies.
asked the Minister for Finance whether he has seen a report that Belleek pottery will be unobtainable in the Republic during the 1956 tourist season, and what action he proposes to take in the matter.
asked the Minister for Finance whether he is aware that because of the imposition of duties under the special import levy on supplies of Belleek china for the Twenty-six Counties, consignments have been diverted to Canada, and if, in view of the fact that the sale of such china is of importance to the tourist industry, he will state what action he proposes to take in the matter.
With the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 25, 26 and 27 together.
I am aware that certain articles, other than tableware, in the range of goods produced by Belleek Pottery Ltd. are liable to special import levy and that in the initial stages the customs examination necessitated by such liability gave rise to certain difficulties. If certain consignments have been diverted to other markets this would appear to be due to the problems of customs examination rather than to the actual liability to the levy. I have had representations in the matter from various sources, including several Deputies.
There is no statutory power to waive the import levy on the goods concerned nor would it be practicable to amend the scope of the levy so as to exempt them from its operation. So far as customs examination is concerned, however, the present position is that officers of the Revenue Commissioners have had discussion with the management of the Belleek concern and, as a result, it has been possible to give an assurance that official requirements will not in future be any more onerous than before the imposition of the levy.