Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Charity Shops

Delivered in Plenary 15th May 2001

Madam President

As a British Member I was very concerned when the proposed directive was first discussed in the Environment Committee that it would inflict severe financial and bureaucratic damage to the flourishing British and Irish Charity Shop Industry - largely unknown elsewhere in the EU - which raises so much money for good causes, and is also extremely sound environmentally by recycling and reusing large quantities of second-hand goods, which it then makes available cheaply to the consumer in its retail outlets.

I was therefore delighted that the Common position of Council returned to this House for a second reading incorporates the exemptions inspired by my original amendment required for Charity Shops from the need to keep records of the identity of purchasers of, in particular, second-hand electrical and electronic goods which consitutute only a small part of their overall business.  This was a victory for common sense and has pleased the Industry and my London constituents, and I thank the Rapporteur and Commission for this derogation.