Opinion Number. 729

Subject

CUSTOMS DUTY AMENDMENT OF TARIFF RESOLUTION BY FURTHER RESOLUTION: WHETHER AMENDING RESOLUTION EXPOSES COMMONWEALTH TO LIABILITY TO REFUND DUTIES PAID UNDER FORMER RESOLUTION IN EXCESS OF DUTIES IMPOSED BY LAST ENACTED TARIFF

Key Legislation

CUSTOMS TARIFF 1908-1911

Date
Client
The Comptroller-General of Customs

The Comptroller-General of Customs forwards the following case for opinion:

The Customs Tariff at present in operation was proposed by Resolution of 3rd December 1914, and has not yet been considered by Parliament.

Opinion is desired by my Minister as to whether it would be possible to propose a new Resolution superseding, as from a specified date, the Resolution of 3rd December 1914, without placing the Department in the position of being unable to resist claims for refund of duties paid under the latter Resolution in excess of the duties imposed by the 1908-1911 Tariff.

If there is no objection to this course, advice is sought as to the terms of the Resolution necessary for the purpose.

I assume that it is not proposed to withdraw the present Resolution; but to propose a further amending Resolution-similar in form to the amending Resolution-Resolution—similar in form to the amending Resolutions that have already been proposed on 12 December 1914, 9 June 1915, and 12 November 1915, though perhaps more extended in scope.

The Tariff Schedule as ultimately reported to the House, and enacted in the Tariff Bill, would then presumably show the original proposal and the date of the alteration.

I do not think that such a procedure as this would involve any such danger as suggested.

[Vol. 14, p. 394]