The European Commission welcomes European Parliament vote on its proposal to update the trade regime for processed agricultural products (PAPs). PAPs are goods obtained through the processing of basic agricultural products, such as confectionaries, chocolates, pastas, bakeries, biscuits, spirits, soft drinks, etc. The EU is the world’s biggest exporter of processed agricultural products, with total value of €41.7 billion in exports. The new regulation will facilitate the trade of PAPS between the EU and non-EU countries. Its aim is to update the legal framework for the implementation of EU preferential trade agreements concluded with non-EU countries. It also provides for export refunds to be granted to some PAPs when market disturbances occur (for example a collapse in world agricultural product prices as a result of an abundant harvest).
The new regulation updates the legal framework for the implementation of bilateral trade deals, in particular as regards preferential trade conditions the EU concedes to trade partner countries in the form of reduced or zero import duties and tariff quotas, in exchange for better market access conditions for EU products.
It also updates the legal framework for granting refunds for the export of certain foodstuffs, creating a safety net which can be triggered in cases of market disturbances such as strong fluctuations in world agricultural market prices due to climate conditions or to speculation.
As a consequence, the regulation is expected to contribute to the efficient achievement of the Common Agricultural Policy objectives and in particular to stabilize markets, secure availability of supplies and provide consumers with food at reasonable prices.
The Council is expected to approve the proposal on 14 April. Following the adoption of this basic legal text, the Commission will shortly adopt the necessary delegated and implementing acts to regulate in detail the various issues included in the regulation (such as import licenses, import duties, tariff quotas, export refunds, refund certificates, etc.).
Tuesday March 11, 2014/ EC/ European Union.