Recently the European Union has approved changes on the norm that regulates entrance prices for fruit and vegetable imports from third party countries, eliminating the “loopholes” which exist in the present system, according to communitarian sources. The EU Management Committee – formed by experts from the twenty seven states, supported those changes, which will start next 1 of September.
The EU also approved a set of measures that were proposed by the European Commission in order to improve the efficiency of crisis management tools in the fruit and vegetables sector, making it possible to get part of the production out of the market in serious situations, to recover prices.
Last March, Spain and other countries asked Brussels to apply urgent measures to improve the functioning of the crisis management systems for the horticultural sector.
The new norms will improve the application of the entrance price system, allowing a more exhaustive follow-up of imports, which, according the sources, will help prevent cases of fraud.
Spain criticized, several times, the functioning of the present system, which makes it possible for big amounts of tomatoes from Morocco to get in with an inferior price to the one that was set.
Particularly, it allows importers to use invoices that might not be the authentic ones, corresponding to days when the prices were higher.
The changes in the norm “will close this loophole”, according to the European Commissioner for Agriculture, Dacian Ciolos.
Regarding the crisis management instruments, it will help to pay producer organizations for product withdrawal.
Regarding withdrawals not destined to free distribute to charitable organizations, amounts will be raised to a minimum level of 20% of the average European price.
This will affect the Winter tomato, grape, apricot, pear, eggplant and melon.
The support for free distribution will also be raised to a level of 30% of the average European price.
The measure will be applied to all the products mentioned before, apart from cauliflower, apple, watermelon, clementine and lemon.
Changes relating withdrawal prices will be applied retroactively starting last 1 of July.