§ Caroline Flint
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps the Government are taking to identify imports of coal and coal products which may be unfairly priced. 
§ Mr. Battle
We wish to see an open and competitive market for coal and coal products. We mean to ensure that the market is not distorted by imports which do not reflect the costs of production and freight. To this end, we have encouraged the European Commission to take action against such marketing practices which are supported by aid applied for an unauthorised purpose and welcome the decision it took last June on German anthracite. We have also encouraged UK coke manufacturers to draw the Commission's attention to the fact that sales of French foundry coke in the UK market appear to be supported by unauthorised state aid.
We are having continuing discussions with the Commission and with the Polish authorities and exporters about the pricing and future flows of Polish coal to the UK. We are also working with the industry to establish how far the prices of Chinese anthracite and coke cover their costs of production and freight.
Greater transparency is a key component of our policy. We have accordingly agreed with HM Customs and Excise that they will in future publish country of origin data on coal imports from non-EU countries on a monthly basis, and we intend to work closely with them and with interested parties to improve the quality of the data.364W