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Export Licence Applications

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what issues are involved in the decision on whether to grant export licence application 16047 from Aylesbury Automation; and to which other Government Departments he has circulated this export licence. [145333]

Dr. Howells [holding answer 15 January 2001]: Licences to export arms and other goods whose export is controlled for strategic reasons are listed by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry acting through DTI's Export Control Organisation (ECO). All relevant individual licence applications are circulated by the DTI to other Government Departments with an interest as determined by those Departments in line with their policy responsibilities. Licence application 16047 was circulated to FCO and MOD.

All applications, including ELA 16407, for a licence to export arms and other goods on the Military List (Part III of Schedule 1 to the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1994) are considered against the consolidated EU and national arms export licensing criteria, as announced by my hon. Friend the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Hain), on 26 October 2000, Official Report, column 199-203W.

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many export licence applications were received by the Export Control Organisation in August 2000; how many of those applications are still awaiting a decision; and if he will make a statement. [145331]

Dr. Howells [holding answer 15 January 2001]: In August 2000, the Export Control Organisation (ECO) received 927 applications for a Standard Individual Export Licence (SIEL). On 11 January 2001,86 of these applications were awaiting a decision.

The ECO also received 35 applications for an Open Individual Export Licence (OIEL) in August 2000. On 11 January, 15 of these applications were awaiting a decision. It is to be expected that these cases will take longer to process than SIELs because of the potentially wide variation in the goods and country coverage of OIELs.

Postal Services Commission

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the duties of the Postal Services Commission in respect of the United Kingdom; who its members are; by whom they were appointed; when next they will report; and to whom. [144828]

Mr. Alan Johnson: The duties of the Postal Services Commission are set out in the Postal Services Act 2000. These include the responsibility to: exercise its functions in the manner which it considers is best calculated to ensure the provision of a universal postal service at a uniform tariff; further the interests of users of postal services, wherever appropriate by promoting effective competition between postal operators; promote efficiency and economy on the part of postal operators; and have regard to the need to ensure that licence holders are able to finance activities authorised or required by their licences.

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The Postal Services Commission was initially established as an advisory body. Its membership was announced in the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for South Ribble (Mr. Borrow) on 6 June 2000, Official Report, columns 186-87W. On 6 November 2000 the independent Postal Services Commission was established as announced in the answer to my hon. Friend the Member for South Ribble, 6 November 2000, Official Report, column 18W. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry made these appointments. In accordance with section 45 of the Postal Services Act 2000, the Commission is required to make annual reports to the Secretary of State on its activities after the end of each financial year (which runs to 31 March each year). The Secretary of State is required to lay a copy of each annual report before Parliament and to publish each report.

EU Postal Monopolies

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what draft legislation is under consideration by the institutions of the European Community concerning upper limits to state postal monopolies; what alternative limits are being proposed; and what parliamentary proceedings (a) have taken place and (b) need to take place prior to imposition of such limits. [144827]

Mr. Byers: On 30 May 2000, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a Draft Directive, COM (2000) 319, to amend the existing Directive 97/67/EC, to further open up to competition the European market for Postal Services. The key element of the Commission's proposal is to reduce the price/weight limit from the current level of 350 grams/5 times the standard letter tariff at the fastest category, to 50 grams/2.5 times the standard letter tariff in 2003, and then to do a review before deciding on the next steps for further market opening to take effect in 2007.

The European Parliament has considered COM(2000)319 and has proposed a number of amendments to the European Commission proposal--including an alternative weight formula of 150 grams. Member states have discussed the European Commission proposal in the Council but have not reached any agreement.

This proposal is subject to Parliamentary scrutiny and is being considered by House of Commons and House of Lords Scrutiny Committees. An Explanatory Memorandum (10544/00) and the European Commission proposal, were submitted to Parliament on 9 November 2000, followed by a supplementary Explanatory Memorandum (10433/00) on 11 December 2000. The House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union has examined the proposals and issued a report (Session 2000-01, HL Paper 6).

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the references in the Official Journal of the European Community and Union concerning the lowering of the permitted upper ceiling on state monopoly postal services, indicating the parliamentary proceeding in respect of each, and the limits so imposed in grams and ounces. [144826]

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Mr. Byers: The proposed Directive is document COM (2000) 319, and has yet to be published in the Official Journal. This is the first proposal to lower the permitted upper ceiling agreed in Directive 97/67/EC. The changes to the permitted price and weight limits and the requirement for parliamentary scrutiny are detailed in my previous answer which was answered early today, PQ No. 144827.

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will tabulate the successive upper limit required by European Union legislation on permitted national monopoly letter delivery, indicating the date of commencement of each, the weight in grams and ounces and the inland stamp value in the United Kingdom at the end of each period. [144825]

Mr. Byers: The EU 1997 Directive 97/67/EC on common rules for the development of the internal market of community postal services and the improvement of quality of service set limits on the postal services which may be reserved to items weighing less than 350 g and costing less than five times the standard letter tariff in the fastest category. The then UK monopoly limit of £1 by value was within this threshold. In September 1999 the Postal Services Regulations (S.I. 1999/2107) defined the UK limits £1 and 350 g in line with the Directive.

Knight Piesold

Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the applications by Knight Piesold for export guarantees in the last 20 years and the projects subsequently approved. [145315]

Mr. Caborn: ECGD has received from Knight Piesold over the last 20 years the following applications in respect of capital goods, projects and related services which have been the subject of an ECGD guarantee.

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Country/ProjectGuarantee issue date
Papua New Guinea
Goods and services for gold/copper mine18 February 1982
Goods and services for gold/copper mine10 July 1986
Australia
Goods and services for gold copper mine10 July 1986
Kenya
Hydro Electric Dam (Turkwell Gorge)14 August 1986
Hydro Electric Power Project (Ewaso Ngiro)4 October 1990

Pending the issue of a guarantee, details of applications are subject to legitimate confidentiality.

ECGD

Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on how many occasions paperwork for applications for export credit guarantees received by the ECGD has gone astray in the last 20 years; and what procedures are in place to prevent this from happening. [145317]

Mr. Caborn: ECGD has no record of such instances. ECGD believes its procedures for handling applications are entirely adequate.

Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the applications for credit guarantees relating to Kenya received by the ECGD in the last 20 years, indicating the companies, amounts and projects in Kenya involved. [145314]

Mr. Caborn: Over the last 20 years, ECGD has issued 27 guarantees worth £381 million in respect of exports of capital goods, projects and related services to Kenya.

Details of the project are no longer held on nine of these guarantees worth £12 million which were issued between 1982 and 1988 and which have since lapsed. Five of these guarantees were issued to Booker Agriculture, two to Marconi, and one each to Cable & Wireless and Slough Smith Rail.

Details of the remaining 18 guarantees are as follows:

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ExporterDetails of projectGuarantee issue dateValue of guarantee £ million
Vosper ThorneycroftDevelop and Extend Naval Base at Mombassa27 May 198720
KvaernerInstallation of Gas Turbine Generator31 July 19868.7
Knight PiesoldDesign and Construction of a hydro Electric Dam14 August 198617.5
Knight PiesoldHydro Electric Power Project (Ewaso Ngiro)4 October 199021
Crown AgentsPipeline Equipment to Import White Oil Products1 July 19881.7
Crown AgentsSpur Pipeline to Moi Inter Airport24 March 19862.4
M. J. GleesonRehabilitation of Jomo Kenyatta Int. Airport2 August 199033.5
A&TSupply of a Rural Telecommunications System20 July 199013
BOC Ltd.Oxygen Producing Plant16 June 19822
British Rail BoardSupply 74 Railway Coaches16 April 198227.9
Crown AgentsSupply of Plant and Equipment30 April 198222.4
Line of CreditVarious29 October 19823.5
Line of CreditVarious22 August 19853.6
AirbusTwo A310-300 Airbus9 May 198623.9
Vosper ThorneycroftFast Patrol Craft1 August 1984108.2
Vosper ThorneycroftPatrol Craft Refit19 December 198811.6
Short Brothers12 Tucano Aircraft13 September 198831.2
Crown AgentsSalvage and Berthing Tugs3 November 198213.6

Details of applications which have not been the subject of a guarantee are subject to legitimate confidentiality and are not included in the table.


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