PositionInternational Pages - Brief Article

The new EU strategy (dating back to November 10, 1999) which aims to put an end to banana trade wars provides for keeping a customs tariff scheme for a transitional period until new customs laws are introduced in 2006 in line with World Trade Organisation (WTO) rulings (see European Report Nos 2447, 2448 and 2450). In his draft report discussed by the Development and Cooperation Committee, the rapporteur declared that the Commission's proposal was "unacceptable in its present format". Mr Fernandez Martin believes that the Commission's proposed new rules fail to take account of the needs of the most fragile producers and posed a real threat to the survival of thousands of small banana growers in the ACP countries affected. French Socialist MEP Marie-Arlette Carlotti called for a "frontal assault" against the Commission's proposal and hoped that the EU could obtain a WTO waiver in order to secure market access for ACP suppliers.Tariff system attacked.The adoption of a "tariff-only" system along with an unspecified preferential tariff to be negotiated with the WTO "could drive large numbers of ACP producers out of business", asserted the rapporteur. He believes that it is not possible to automatically switch to a tariff-only system in 2006, as the Commission is proposing. In his role as general rapporteur for the work of the Joint ACP-EU Assembly in 1999 and in line with the conclusions of the working group on ACP-EU relations, the Spanish MEP stressed that it was essential to have a transition period of at least ten years.--To comply with the WTO April 1999 Resolution, the Commission produced a draft Regulation divided into two stages. The first stage would maintain customs quotas but includes a firm commitment to adopt a tariff only system by the year 2006. This first stage is divided into three pillars:- An "A" customs quota for 2.2 million tonnes and "B" quota for a further 353,000 tonnes on a first-come-first-served or "boat-race" basis with a single tariff rate of Euro 75/tonne;- The "C" quota, open to all exporters, with import licences allocated by auction;- A preferential tariff for ACP producers of Euro 275/tonne on the basis of a WTO concession. Bananas from ACP countries could be imported with relief from customs duty under "A" and "B" quotas, but bananas imported as part of the "C" quota would be...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT