Import Duties Act 1932

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1932 c. 8


Import Duties Act, 1932

(22 & 23 Geo. 5.) CHAPTER 8.

An Act to provide for the imposition of a general ad valorem duty of customs and of additional duties on any goods chargeable with the duty aforesaid, for the imposition of duties on goods produced or manufactured in a foreign country which discriminates in the matter of importation as against goods produced or manufactured in the United Kingdom, in certain other parts of His Majesty's dominions, in protectorates or in mandated territories, and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.

[29th February 1932]

Most Gracious Sovereign,

We , Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons of the United Kingdom in Parliament assembled, with a view to the restricting in the national interest of the importation of goods into the United Kingdom, to the providing of a remedy in cases where a foreign country discriminates in the matter of importation as against goods produced or manufactured in the United Kingdom, in certain other parts of Your Majesty's dominions or in territories under Your Majesty's protection or in respect of which a mandate is being exercised by Your Majesty's Government of the United Kingdom, and to the making of an addition to the public revenue, have freely and voluntarily resolved to give and grant unto Your Majesty the duties for which provision is hereinafter contained; and do therefore most humbly beseech Your Majesty that it may be enacted, and be it enacted, by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I General ad valorem Duty and Additional Duties.

Part I.

General ad valorem Duty and Additional Duties.

S-1 Charge of general ad valorem customs duty of ten per cent.

1 Charge of general ad valorem customs duty of ten per cent.

(1) As from the first day of March, nineteen hundred and thirty-two, there shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, be charged on all goods imported into the United Kingdom, other than goods exempted as hereinafter provided from the provisions of this section, a duty of customs equal to ten per cent. of the value of the goods.

(2) The following goods shall be exempted from the provisions of this section—

(a ) goods for the time being chargeable with a duty of customs by or under any enactment other than this Act, but not including (subject to the provisions of this Act) any composite goods in the case of which duty is chargeable under any such enactment as aforesaid because some (but not all) of their components are articles so chargeable;

(b ) goods of any class or description specified in the First Schedule to this Act or added to that Schedule by an order made under the next following subsection.

(3) The Treasury, after receiving a recommendation from the Committee to be constituted under the following provisions of this Act that goods of any class or description ought to be exempted from the provisions of this section, and after consultation with the appropriate department, may by order direct that goods of all or any of the classes or descriptions specified in the recommendation shall be added to the First Schedule to this Act:

Provided that, except in such cases as seem to them of special urgency, the said Committee shall not take into consideration the question whether any recommendation ought to be made under this subsection until the expiration of six months from the passing of this Act.

(4) The duty imposed by this section is in this Act referred to as ‘the general ad valorem duty.’

(5) The provisions of the Second Schedule to this Act shall have effect with respect to the recommendation and allowance of drawback in respect of the general ad valorem duty.

S-2 Constitution of Advisory Committee.

2 Constitution of Advisory Committee.

(1) For the purpose of giving advice and assistance in connection with the discharge by the Treasury of their functions under this Act, there shall be constituted a committee, to be called ‘the Import Duties Advisory Committee,’ consisting of a chairman and not less than two or more than five other members to be appointed by the Treasury.

(2) The members of the Committee shall hold office for a period of three years and shall be eligible for re-appointment from time to time on the expiration of their term of office.

If a member becomes, in the opinion of the Treasury, unfit to continue in office or incapable of performing his duties under this Act, the Treasury shall forthwith declare his office to be vacant and shall notify the fact in such manner as they think fit, and thereupon the office shall become vacant.

(3) The Committee shall, as soon as may be after the commencement of this Act, take into consideration the provisions of this Act, and shall, from time to time, take into consideration any representations which may be made to them with respect to matters on which, under the provisions of this Act, action may be taken on a recommendation by the Committee, and may make recommendations to the Treasury with respect to the matters aforesaid.

(4) The Treasury shall publish in such manner as they think fit any recommendation made to them by the Committee as soon as may be after they have made an order in pursuance of the recommendation or have determined to make no order on the recommendation.

(5) The expenses of the Committee to such an amount as may be approved by the Treasury (including the expenses of their staff and such salaries or other remuneration paid to all or any of the members as the Treasury may determine) shall be paid out of moneys provided by Parliament.

(6) The Committee may make rules—

(a ) for regulating the proceedings, including the quorum, of the Committee; and

(b ) for authorising the delegation of any of the functions of the Committee to a sub-committee consisting of members of the Committee.

(7) The Committee, so far as they consider it necessary or desirable so to do for the purpose of the proper discharge of their functions, may by notice in writing require any person to furnish them with returns or other information, or, subject to the payment or tender of the reasonable expenses of his attendance, to attend as a witness before them or before any person authorised by them and to give evidence or to produce documents, and if any person fails without reasonable excuse to comply with the provisions of any such notice, he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds, and in the case of a second or subsequent conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred pounds:

Provided that the power of the Committee under this subsection to require a person to attend as a witness before a person authorised by them shall not be exercised unless the Committee are satisfied that, having regard to the nature of the proposed inquiry, it can be conducted more conveniently or more efficiently by a person so authorised than by the Committee, and that the person proposed to be authorised possesses the necessary qualifications for the purpose.

(8) The Committee or any person authorised by them shall have power to take evidence on oath, and for that purpose to administer oaths.

S-3 Additional duty of customs on special classes or descriptions of goods.

3 Additional duty of customs on special classes or descriptions of goods.

(1) Where it appears to the Committee that an additional duty of customs ought to be charged in respect of goods of any class or description which are chargeable with the general ad valorem duty and which, in their opinion, are either articles of luxury or articles of a kind which are being produced or are likely within a reasonable time to be produced in the United Kingdom in quantities which are substantial in relation to United Kingdom consumption, the Committee may recommend to the Treasury that an additional duty ought to be charged on goods of that class or description at such rate as is specified in the recommendation.

(2) In deciding what recommendation, if any, to make for the purposes of this section, the Committee shall have regard to the advisability in the national interest of restricting imports into the United Kingdom and the interests generally of trade and industry in the United Kingdom, including those of trades and industries which are consumers of goods as well as those of trades and industries which are producers of goods.

(3) The Treasury, after receiving a recommendation from the Committee that an additional duty of customs ought to be charged on goods of any class or description, may, if they think fit so to do, and after consultation with the appropriate Department, by order direct that such additional duty of customs as is specified in the order (being a duty at a rate not exceeding the rate specified in the recommendation) shall be charged on the importation into the United Kingdom of goods of all or any of the classes or description specified in the recommendation, and an additional duty so directed to be charged shall for all purposes be deemed to be chargeable under this section.

(4) An order under this section directing an additional duty to be charged may direct that it shall be charged—

(a ) by reference to value or to weight or any other measure of quantity;

(b ) for any period or periods, whether continuous or not, or without any limit of period;

(c ) at different rates for different periods or parts of periods.

(5) Where it is apprehended that goods of any class or description which, by reason of their being chargeable with a duty of customs by or under any enactment other than this Act, are not chargeable with the general ad valorem duty, will shortly become chargeable with the general ad valorem duty by reason of the duty by or under that other enactment ceasing to be chargeable, the...

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