Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Fourteenth Report


APPENDIX V

First Memorandum by the Department of Trade and Industry


WIRELESS TELEGRAPHY (CONTROL OF INTERFERENCE FROM VIDEOSENDERS) ORDER 1997 (S.I. 1997/1842)

  1. This Memorandum has been prepared in response to the request in the 29 October 1997 letter of the Commons Clerk of the Committee for further information regarding the above Order.

  2. That letter asked firstly for an explanation of the justification for the restrictions in articles 3(b) and (c) on supplying or having in one's custody a videosender. The Order applies to videosenders which operate within the television broadcast bands and which were imported direct from the Far East. They are not made to any British, European Telecommunications Standards Institute or other internationally recognised performance standard. The apparatus is poorly designed and cheaply engineered. Consequently videosenders are liable to cause interference to neighbouring television users and to other radio users. In particular, the Department has well documented cases of interference to police radio use. Such interference has safety of life implications.

  3. That letter also asked what purpose is served by the article 3 proviso, which relaxes the article 3(d) import ban in the case of videosenders imported from other parts of the EC or the EEA, given the provisions of articles 3(b) and 3(c). This provision serves to avoid any conflict with the requirement that goods be allowed to move freely between member States. As the Order is a measure equivalent to a quantitative restriction prohibited by Article 30 of the EC Treaty, a draft of the Order was submitted in December 1995 to the Commission under Directive 83/189/EEC for clearance in advance of its making by the Secretary of State.

  4. Finally, that letter asked if the Department has information available to indicate whether or not a provision corresponding to article 3 has been or is being made by other member States. The Department has no such information available.

3rd November 1997

Second Memorandum by the Department of Trade and Industry


WIRELESS TELEGRAPHY (CONTROL OF INTERFERENCE FROM VIDEOSENDERS) ORDER 1997 (S.I. 1997/1842)

  1. This Memorandum has been prepared in response to the request in the 12 November 1997 letter of the Commons Clerk of the Joint Committee for further information on the following point:

    "As regards the limited application of the article 3 proviso to the restrictions, is not the practical effect of the restrictions in paragraph (b) and (c) to prevent the lawful importation of videosenders from other Member States? Explain how the restrictions in paragraph (b) and (c) are compatible with Article 30 of the EC Treaty (in so far as they are applicable to imports from other Member States)."

  2. As stated in the first memorandum, videosenders have the potential to cause interference in the United Kingdom to other authorised radio users, including the police. The Department therefore considers that the Order is compatible with Article 30 of the EC Treaty in that restrictions on imports from other Member States are justifiable under Article 36 of the Treaty, which permits barriers to intra-community trade on grounds of public policy, public security and the protection of the health and life of humans.

  3. The Department recognises the Joint Committee's argument that the proviso in article 3(d) of the Order is ineffective, and proposes to amend the Order at the earliest opportunity to prohibit all importation except for the sole purpose of re-export from the United Kingdom.

17th November 1997


 
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