The Moroccan produce industry and government have been up in arms recently over changes in European law toward produce pricing. One consultant has claimed it will affect between 30-50% of the North African country’s tomato exporters, but the European Commission’s spokesman for Agriculture and Rural Development, Roger Waite, says the new regulations do not apply specifically to Morocco, and nor do they relate to the preferential import quotas granted to the country’s tomato exporters. He tells www.freshfruitportal.com about the fine details of what has become a divisive topic between the EU and its neighbors to the south.
In simple terms, what do the new delegate acts mean practically for Moroccan fruit and vegetable growers wishing to continue exporting to the European Union?
The changes to the Entry Price System, which will apply from October 1, 2014, were in fact decided in the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) reform agreement last June (2013).
It applies to all fruit and vegetables from all exporting countries outside the EU. Following pressure from Member States (the Council) and MEPs (Members of the European Parliament), the political agreement was to align the system with the one that applied to other products.
In other words, the price figure on the basis of which the customs clearance will be calculated will be either the invoice for the individual consignment, or the Standard Import Value, which is published by the European Commission per product and per country of origin every day.
At present, there is a third option, which only applies for fruit and vegetables under the entry price system – but not for other products – allowing for a “deductive price”, which enables traders to use an invoice for the consignment when it is sold on the EU market. This is a much less transparent system, and one which has triggered accusations from some MEPs and Member States that it enables importers to elude some of the import duties that would otherwise be due.
For those exporters whose business model for trading fruits or vegetables in the EU is based on consignment, how will they have to change their business practices to adjust to this new legal framework?
Quite simply, the import duty will be based on the price on the invoice – or will be calculated on the basis of the Standard Import Value, as published every day by the European Commission.
Many of the complaints have come from Morocco. Why is that so?
As previously mentioned, the change in the rules applies to all imports from all third countries.
You can read the full Interview Here: www.freshfruitportal.com