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Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the decision of the European Court of Justice in the Tesco v. Levi Strauss case; and if she will make a statement. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: The judgment by the European Court of Justice in the Tesco v. Levi Strauss case confirmed that the European trade mark directive (89/104/EEC) means that branded goods cannot be imported into the European Economic Area without the trade mark owner's consent.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on how many occasions since May 1997 (a) she and (b) her predecessors have overruled the advice of the Director-General of the Office of Fair Trading. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has overruled the advice of the Director General of Fair Trading regarding mergers of enterprises on eight occasions and on monopoly reports on three occasions since May 1997.
Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the nature of the assistance her Department has provided to the European Commission over allegations of price fixing in the United Kingdom vehicle market. 
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Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proposals she has for amending the regulation of accountancy to ensure that accountants (a) report all money laundering which comes to their attention and (b) play no part in (i) opening accounts and (ii) setting up and closing down shell companies to carry it on. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: The Home Office has policy responsibility for primary legislation on money laundering offences, while HM Treasury is responsible for regulating the financial services industry, including policy responsibility for secondary legislation such as the 1993 Money Laundering Regulations (which are shortly to be amended).
The Proceeds of Crime Bill, which is currently before Parliament, will consolidate and strengthen existing anti-money-laundering legislation. It will also provide new power for the investigation of money laundering. It is currently an offence for any person to fail to report knowledge or suspicion of drug or terrorist money laundering which comes to their attention in the course of their trade, business or profession. The Bill replaces that offence with an offence for a person working in a sector covered by the Money Laundering Regulations to fail to make a report to the authorities if he knows, suspects or has reasonable grounds to know or suspect that another person is laundering the proceeds of any criminal activity.
At present, not all accountants are regulated under the 1993 Money Laundering Regulations (although all are subject to the general obligation to report knowledge or suspicions of drugs or terrorist money laundering arising in the course of one's trade, business or profession). However, under the second European money laundering directive, which is expected to be formally adopted after Christmas, accountants will be brought within the regulated sector. When this directive is implemented in UK law, accounts will be subject to both the provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Bill, and the requirements of the Money Laundering Regulations as regards identification of customers, record keeping and reporting of suspect financial transactions.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry is responsible for the statutory oversight of the arrangements for the regulation of company auditors and, in that respect, of the adequacy of the procedures of recognised accountancy bodies for investigating and disciplining auditors. This Department also has a wider interest in the regulatory arrangements of the main accountancy bodies for investigating and disciplining their members, including those who may have engaged in or facilitated money laundering, or who may have failed in their duties to report suspicious transactions to the appropriate authorities. Members of these bodies are subject to byelaws and regulations which make them liable to disciplinary action and penalties. Under reforms previously agreed between the bodies and the Government, a new Investigation and Discipline Board, under the aegis of the Accountancy Foundation, will take over responsibility for disciplinary cases which raise significant public interest issues.
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The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answers I gave to the right hon. Members for Chingford and Woodford Green (Mr. Duncan Smith), for Ross, Skye and Inverness, West (Mr. Kennedy) and for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe) on 5 December 2001, Official Report, columns 32530.
12. Mr. Anthony D. Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department is taking to work with the voluntary sector and to encourage volunteering. 
Margaret Beckett: The impact of foot and mouth disease showed the need for a healthy rural voluntary sector, and the creation of the new Department, with an explicit focus on rural affairs for the first time, enables us to enhance the Government's capacity to work with the voluntary sector in rural affairs.
I am holding a series of meetings with rural voluntary and community bodies to discuss their contribution to the well-being of rural communities and this work is being developed by officials in the new Rural Affairs Directorate.
14. Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department is taking to ensure that the Government purchases timber and wood products only from legal and sustainable sources. 
Mr. Meacher: We have set a policy for central Government Departments and their agencies to actively seek to procure their timber and timber products from sustainable and legal sources and to report their purchases annually.
Mr. Meacher: Air quality in the UK is improving year on year, thanks in large part to the actions we have taken to reduce emissions from road transport and industry. Last year saw the lowest number of days of poor air quality in urban areas since our detailed records began. But we still need to do more if we are to achieve all of the objectives in our Air Quality Strategy.
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16. Mr. Burnett: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will withdraw the consent to use the site at Ash Moor, Petrockstow for the disposal of animal carcases. [20572R]
Mr. Morley: Following record levels of rainfall, the West Country suffered serious flooding last autumn and winter. The full extent of the flooding was set out in the Environment Agency's Lessons Learned reports. Since then flood defences have been repaired and where necessary strengthened so residents have at least as much protection as they did before the floods, and often are better defended. Longer term improvements in flood defence are in hand in many areas.
18. Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make it a condition of licensing GM crop trials, that the licensee take out insurance against being held liable for crop contamination; what financial provision she has made against being held liable for crop contamination; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher: The European Commission is preparing a proposal for a directive on environmental liability, including in respect of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This initiative is expected to cover liability for damage to biodiversity and serious harm to human health, leaving to member states the issue of liability for economic loss. The Commission intend that the contained use, deliberate release and transport of GMOs should fall within a strict liability regime for significant environmental hazards. I am considering whether liability rules are needed for GM crop releases to complement the Commission's wider proposal, but am not in a position to provide any further details at present. The Government have not made any specific provision against liability for GM crop trials.
Mr. Meacher: The Farm Scale Evaluations are a three-year trial programme involving four GM herbicide- tolerant crops. These trials are studying the impact of the herbicide use associated with the GM plants on a range of biodiversity indicators. This can only be done by testing under normal farm conditions. The plants in the trials have passed all regulatory safety standards relating to their release into the environment.
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