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Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 15 March 2001

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Civil Servants (Salary Increases)

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the average percentage increase in salaries of non-industrial civil servants, excluding members of the Senior Civil Service, was in his Department for 2000-01. [152789]

Dr. Howells [holding answer 14 March 2001]: The headline pay settlement was 2.5 per cent. on the pay bill and, together with the additional funds from staff turnover, staff in post received performance-related increases averaging 4.4 per cent.

Digital Television

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans he has to introduce a requirement on manufacturers of television sets to include digital receivers in new sets. [153261]

Ms Hewitt [holding answer 12 March 2001]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Plymouth, Sutton (Mrs. Gilroy) on 14 February 2001, Official Report, column 137W.

Small Business Service

Sir Sydney Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what support he is giving to enterprise clubs following the establishment of the new Small Business Service, with particular reference to Greater London. [153782]

Ms Hewitt: My Department is committed to supporting enterprise, including clubs and disadvantaged areas across the whole of London and other regions, through a number of initiatives. These include:








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Through its Regional Manager for London, SBS will work closely with the Business Link and London Development Agency to ensure that the region as a whole, including Inner and Greater London, has access to the necessary enterprise funding and that this is used cost-effectively for the capital's various enterprise organisations and their initiatives.

Air Conditioning

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what representations he has received on the draft European standard for air conditioning equipment (EN 378); and if he will make a statement; [153619]

Mr. Alan Johnson: EN 378 is a technical specification for refrigerating systems and heat pumps (which can be used in some air conditioning equipment), dealing with the safety and environmental aspects. The standard allows for hydrocarbons, which are flammable, being used as a refrigerant in certain circumstances instead of the usual hydrofluorocarbons, which are inert.

My Department received just one representation concerning the use of hydrocarbons as a refrigerant being included in this standard. However, responsibility for this standard, and resolving any technical issues concerned including safety ones, falls to the British Standards Institution (BSI), which is independent of Government.

BSI is the United Kingdom member of the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) which developed the European standard EN 378. It carries out, as part of its normal procedures, public consultations on draft ENs. Once a draft EN is adopted by CEN, the national standards bodies who are its members withdraw any conflicting national standards and publish the European one. In this instance, I understand that EN 378 was adopted by CEN last year and then published by BSI as BS EN 378.

Any technical questions relating to, or issues of interpretation of, the standard should therefore be taken up with BSI.

Import/Export Licences

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will provide details of the import licences granted for the import of (a) tear gas, (b) plastic baton rounds and (c) other riot control munitions into Northern Ireland from the Irish Republic since 1997. [153515]

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Mr. Caborn: There have been no individual import licences issued in respect of tear gas sprays and canisters (including CS gas) for import into the United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland) from the Irish Republic since 1997.

Imports of plastic baton rounds do not require an individual import licence. The transfer of these items is subject to the issue of a transfer document by the designated authority in the Irish Republic.

Seven licences have been issued for the importation into the United Kingdom from an EU member state for products that might fit the description "other riot control munitions". None of the licence holders is based in Northern Ireland.

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will provide details of the export licences granted for export of military list, paramilitary list and dual use technologies to the Irish Republic in (a) 1999 and (b) 2000, where the end-use destination was for another country. [153514]

Dr. Howells: In 2000, one Standard Individual Export Licence was issued where the consignee was in the Irish Republic and the end-use destination was in another country. This covered goods controlled under the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1994 (the Military List) and rated ML6. ML6 covers ground vehicles and components thereof specifically designed or modified for military use. There were no such licences issued in 1999.

Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the British Government issued an export licence to Royal Ordinance for the refurbishment of 30 105mm Moroccan guns in Western Sahara; who approved the export licence application for the refurbishment of 105mm Moroccan guns in Western Sahara; if Royal Ordinance (BAE Systems) completed the refurbishment of 105mm Moroccan guns in Western Sahara; what export licences have been approved for weapons or spares in Western Sahara since 1997; what export licence applications have been refused to Morocco since 1997; on what grounds they were refused; on what occasions the United Nations has been consulted about approving export licence applications to Morocco since 1997; and if the terms of the UN Peace Plan take primacy over the EU Code of Conduct for approving export licence applications to Morocco. [150250]

Dr. Howells [holding answer 13 February 2001]: On 12 July 1999 the DTI issued a standard individual export licence to Royal Ordnance to export equipment to Morocco for the refurbishment of guns. The licence was reported in the 1999 Annual Report on Strategic Export Controls.

All licences to export arms and other goods whose export is controlled for strategic reasons are issued by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry acting through DTI's Export Control Organisation (ECO). All relevant individual licence applications are circulated by the DTI to other Government Departments with an interest as determined by those Departments in line with their policy responsibilities. These include the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence and the Department for International Development.

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While in general the ECO maintains records of licence applications, it does not in general compile records of actual shipments. Moreover, where the licence is for refurbishment, ECO does not monitor whether the refurbishment has been carried out.

The export of weapons and weapons spares are controlled under entries ML1, ML2, ML4, ML5, ML12, ML18, ML19, ML21, ML22, PL5002, PL5006, PL5017, PL5018 and PL5030 in the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1994 (the EG(C)O). The entry in the EG(C)O under which the export of goods is controlled is known as their rating. Details of export licensing decisions between 2 May 1997 and 31 December 1999 have been set out in the Government's Annual Reports on Strategic Export Controls copies of which are in the Library of the House. These Reports list by country of destination the export licences issued and refused in each equipment category and gives details of the military equipment for which licences have been granted. They also set out the value of defence exports to each country.

Between 1 January 2000 and 2 February 2001, six Standard Individual Export Licences (SIELs) and three Open Individual Export Licences (OIELs) were issued covering the export to consignees or end-users in Morocco of goods with the relevant ratings. Individual licences may cover a range of goods with various ratings. Where this is so, the licence is included in the total for all of the relevant ratings.

Individual Licences issued between 1 January 2000 and 2 February 2001 covering the export to Morocco of goods on the Military List(1)

RatingNumber of SIELs issued covering goods with this ratingNumber of OIELs issued covering goods with this rating
ML130
ML240
ML410
ML502
ML1200
ML1800
ML1900
ML2100
ML2211
PL500200
PL500610
PL501711
PL501800
PL503000

(1) Each licence may cover a range of ratings, and where this is so, data on them are included under each of the relevant ratings.


In addition, Morocco is a permitted destination on certain Open General Export Licences for the export of goods on the Military List; copies of all Open General Export Licences are placed in the Library of the House.

Between 2 May 1997 and 31 December 1999 only one application, for the refurbishment of 105mm guns and supply of new guns, was refused to Morocco, on the grounds that issuing the licence would contravene Criterion 4 of the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports. After the company appealed, the part of the application for the refurbishment of guns was granted. However the refusal of the part of the licence application in respect of the proposed sale of new guns was upheld.

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Between 1 January 2000 and 2 February 2001, no applications for a SIEL and no applications for an OIEL were refused covering the export to consignees or end-users in Morocco of goods with the relevant ratings.

HMG does not seek UN approval when issuing export licences to non-embargoed destinations. There is no UN arms embargo on Morocco. HMG did not therefore seek UN approval in this case. However, where the UN has an interest in a region HMG may--as was done in this case--consult the UN. The information provided by the UN will be taken into account by HMG when deciding whether to issue an export licence.

The terms of the UN Peace Plan do not take primacy over the EU Code of Conduct for approving export licence applications to Morocco. All export licence applications whether for Morocco or elsewhere are considered against the now consolidated EU and national arms export licensing criteria.


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