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Import of fishery products: Council agrees on autonomous EU tariff quotas for the period 2019-2020

In 2019 and 2020 the EU fish processing industry will continue to import raw materialfor further processing from non-EU countries at reduced rates or duty free.

The Council yesterday adopted a regulation opening autonomous EU tariff quotas (ATQs) for certain fishery products for the years 2019 and 2020, and providing rules for the management of these quotas.

Elisabeth Köstinger, Austrian Federal Minister for Sustainability and Tourism, and President of the Council yesterday said:

The objective of ATQs is to provide the EU processing industry with raw and semi-raw materials, so as to ensure its competitiveness, without harming EU suppliers.

Over the past two decades the EU has become more dependent on imports from third countries to meet its demand for fishery and aquaculture products. This is because these products are either not produced in the EU, or because they are not produced in sufficient quantities for what is the worlds’ biggest market in terms of value.

The ATQ regulation covers a certain number of fisheries products for which, for a limited volume, the duty will be suspended or reduced. Duty and volume are specific to each product. Tariff quotas are only granted to those products that are imported for further processing in the EU.

The tariff quotas will be managed by the Commission and member states in accordance with the current system of tariff-quota management, which operates on a first-come-first-served basis.

Next steps

The regulation will enter into force on the third day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union and will apply from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2020.

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