HC Deb 21 November 1986 vol 105 c380W
Mr. Teddy Taylor

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement outlining the non-tariff barriers which have been placed by European Economic Community members on the import of domestic appliances from the United Kingdom; which of these various non-tariff barriers relate to the noise emitted by domestic appliances; and what representations he has received from British manufacturers of domestic appliances about the problems created for them in exporting to Europe in consequence of these non-tariff barriers to trade.

Mr. Butcher

[pursuant to his reply, 20 November 1986, c. 278]: In the past certain EEC countries demanded that the electrical safety of imported domestic appliances had to be certified by tests carried out in their own official laboratories. This represented a major non-tariff barrier to United Kingdom exports. The problem has now been solved by determined application of the article 100 directive on the harmonisation of the laws of member states relating to electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage limits — 73/23/EEC — whereby United Kingdom equipment can now be tested in the United Kingdom.

Similar certification requirements in respect of the noise emitted were proposed by France, Germany and the Netherlands, but enforcement has been postponed awaiting completion of the directive on the noise labelling of domestic appliances. This will prevent any such requirements becoming a barrier to trade.

The question of non-tariff barriers experienced by United Kingdom manufacturers has been, and will continue to be, the subject of dialogue between the United Kingdom industry and the DTI. Should other barriers become apparent the necessary steps will be taken to overcome them.