7. PROPOSAL FOR A COUNCIL REGULATION
(EC) EXTENDING THE COVERAGE OF REGULATIONS (EC) NOS 3281/94 AND
1256/96 CONCERNING THE EUROPEAN UNION'S SCHEMES FOR GENERALISED
SYSTEM OF PREFERENCES FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES
Letter from Lord Tordoff, Chairman of
the Committee, to Lord Clinton Davis, Minister for Trade, Department
of Trade and Industry
On 17 February Sub-Committee A scrutinised this
document and your Explanatory Memorandum dated 28 January.
There was one point in your Explanatory Memorandum
which puzzled us. This was your assertion, in paragraph 16, that
"there were no financial implications for the United Kingdom".
We found this difficult to understand if extending the level of
preferences to some of the Least Developed Countries was to have
Although we should be grateful to receive your
comments on this point, this letter raises the scrutiny reserve.
24 February 1998
Letter from Lord Clinton-Davis, Minister
for Trade, Department of Trade and Industry, to Lord Tordoff,
Chairman of the Committee
Thank you for your letter of 24 February regarding
my Explanatory Memorandum on a proposal to extend the levels of
preference under the Generalised System of Preferences for Least
As you rightly say there will be some financial
implications from this Regulation for the UK in the form of lost
customs revenue. However, given the current levels of trade with
the LDCs it will not be significant. The financial statement prepared
with the proposal indicated a total loss of customs revenue to
the EU as a whole as 77918 ECU.
The economic impact of the Regulation is not
significant because the EC already offers the duty free access
to the majority of LDCs on a very wide range of products under
the Lome convention. This Regulation extends this access to nine
LDCs who are not signatories of the Lome convention. The objective
of the Regulation is not purely economic and is intended to encourage
other developed and more advanced developing countries to offer
similar market terms and to work towards the elimination of tariffs
on LDC products. A multilateral agreement in these terms would
offer real benefits for all LDCs.
16 March 1998