LC Paper No. LS 44/98-99
Paper for the House Committee MeetingObject of the Bill
of the Legislative Council
on 20 November 1998
Legal Service Division Report on
Industrial Training (Clothing Industry) (Amendment) Bill 1998
To withdraw postal lodgememt as one of the methods of lodging export declarations to be provided to the Commissioner of Customs and Excise.
LegCo Brief Reference
2. TIB 89/39/3 issued by the Trade and Industry Bureau dated 17 October 1998.
Date of First Reading
3. 18 November 1998.
4. At present, under section 23 of the Industrial Training (Clothing Industry) Ordinance (Cap. 318) (the Ordinance), exporters of clothing items can lodge their export declarations in person, by post or by electronic means. A clothing industry training levy is then imposed on the F.O.B. value of clothing item. The Government intends to make electronic data interchange (EDI) the only means of lodging trade declarations by April 2000. This Bill amends the Ordinance by first deleting lodgement of trade declarations by post. As for lodgement in person, the Government intends to withdraw such lodgement towards the end of 1999.
5. The Import and Export (Registration) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 1998 gazetted on 23 October 1998 also deals with similar amendments, i.e. withdrawal of postal lodgement as a means of submitting trade declarations in respect of both import and export declarations. According to paragraph 3 of the LegCo Brief, about 31% of the trade declarations are lodged electronically, 10% by post and 59% in person at counters operated by the Customs and Excise Department.
6. If the Bill is enacted, the Commissioner of Customs and Excise will by notice in the Gazette appoint the same day for both the Bill and the Regulation to come into operation in early 1999.
7. According to paragraph 15 of the LegCo Brief, the Administration has brought the withdrawal of postal lodgement to the attention of those importers and exporters who have lodged trade declarations by post since early August 1998. A group of small enterprises operators has expressed different views on EDI. Members may refer to LC Paper No. CB(1)338/98-99 dated 20 October 1998 for information.
Consultation with the LegCo Panel
8. The Legislative Council Panel on Trade and Industry has been briefed on this topic during the last two meetings. Members may refer to a paper "The Community Electronic Trading Service and Tradelink" (Ref: CB(1)149/98-99(02)) prepared by the Trade and Industry Bureau dated 6 August 1998 and another paper (Ref: CB(1)395/98-99(06)) by the Administration on proposed prices submitted by Tradelink dated 21 October 1998 for reference. There is general support for the proposal. According to the paper, to cater for those companies that may not be ready to start using electronic submission and for those that only need to apply for trade declarations occasionally, Tradelink provides service centres for converting paper submissions into electronic ones.
9. The legal and technical aspects of the amendments are in order. Members may wish to decide whether a Bills Committee be formed to discuss the policy issues involved in this Bill.
HO Ying-chu, Anita
Assistant Legal Adviser
Legislative Council Secretariat
16 November 1998