Lifting of EU Ban May Provide Little Relief for Ghanaian Vegetable Exporters

Summary

While the EU Delegation in Ghana has heralded the scheduled lifting of the EU ban on imports of specified vegetable from Ghana on 1st January 2018, the trade benefits of this measure could be undermined by the stricter SPS control requirements on False Coddling Moth scheduled to be introduced by the EU from 1st January 2018. This could potentially place a significant additional administrative burden on the competent authority to verify compliance with EU requirements, with any failure to satisfy stricter EU requirements leading to market closure. This is an issue not only for Ghana but 20 other ACP countries engaged in exporting capsicum and pimento to the EU.  How the situation evolves in regard to ACP exports of capsicum and pimento in 2018 will provide a concrete example of the kind of impact which stricter EU Plant Health Regulation requirements are likely to have on a range of ACP fresh plant exports to the EU. Read more “Lifting of EU Ban May Provide Little Relief for Ghanaian Vegetable Exporters”

Pre-emptive export restrictions introduced on South African citrus exports to EU

Summary

The Citrus Growers Association has once again introduced voluntary restrictions on citrus exports to the EU in order to avert any threat of formal EU import restrictions. While the South African citrus industry is looking forward to new export opportunities as a result of the Brexit process, these opportunities may well be deferred if a two year transition period is agreed. During this period the UK would need to remain subject to EU rules and regulation. The prospect of such a two year transition period however remains clouded by uncertainty, given the contrasting views of the UK government and EU negotiators on the time it will take to agree a long term EU27-UK trade framework. Read more “Pre-emptive export restrictions introduced on South African citrus exports to EU”

New EU Plant Health Regulation Could Carry Important Implications for Smaller Scale ACP Exporters

Summary

The EU’s new Plant Health Regulation adopts a far more comprehensive and proactive precautionary approach than at present. It will lead to far stricter SPS controls on ‘priority pests’ in ‘high risk commodities’. For these products from 13 December 2019 trade will be prohibited without a favourable pest risk assessment.  In this context the regulation makes provision for temporary EU restrictions and import bans where the pest risk is unknown.

Given the timetable for secondary legislation, in calendar year 2019 ACP competent authorities in countries exporting high risk commodities could face substantial additional demands on their human and financial resources in terms of pest mapping and  monitoring and operationalisation of effective pest control programmes. Smaller scale ACP exporters of high risk commodities could be particularly vulnerable, given the whole process will also impose substantial additional burdens on the EU SPS inspection service and these smaller exporting  countries may not be a priority for pest risk assessment, even if requests for assessments are submitted in a timely manner by the national competent authority . Read more “New EU Plant Health Regulation Could Carry Important Implications for Smaller Scale ACP Exporters”

Dutch onion exports hit further record highs with West African markets playing a  critical role

Summary

Dutch onion exports continue to grow with ACP markets, particularly in West Africa being major destination markets. Since 2010 the importance of ACP markets to extra-EU Dutch onion exports has increased from 57.6% to 62.5%, with ACP market increasing in importance whenever difficulties are faced on other third country markets. This suggest any disruption of Dutch-UK onion exports arising from a hard-Brexit could rebound in terms of increased Dutch onion exports to ACP markets.  This in turn could adversely impact on local efforts across the ACP to expand local production of onions for national and regional markets Read more “Dutch onion exports hit further record highs with West African markets playing a  critical role”

EU Farmers Continue Campaign for Stricter EU Citrus Black Spot Controls

Summary

EU farmers organizations continue to push for stricter SPS controls on citrus imports including the mandatory use of cold treatment. The South African citrus industry believes such a requirement would be an economic disaster for the industry. In the context of the Spanish citrus industry’s pressure for stricter EU SPS controls, the UK’s departure from the EU could offer a life line for the South African citrus industry. If SPS controls not relevant to UK agricultural production were lifted and duty free-quota free access to the UK market could be secured in line with the South African government’s current aspirations for post-Brexit trade relations with the UK, then less restrictive market access requirements would apply potentially opening up additional export opportunities to the UK market. Read more “EU Farmers Continue Campaign for Stricter EU Citrus Black Spot Controls”

Proposed EC Regulatory Initiative on UTPs Needs to be Extended to ACP-EU Supply Chains

Summary

The EC is currently undertaking consultations on new proposals to reduce unfair trading practices (UTPs), to which farmers are seen as being particularly vulnerable. UTPs are seen as stifling innovation and undermining on-farm investment through reducing the commercial viability of farming activities. The envisaged regulations aim to ensure a fairer distribution of value along agricultural supply chains, and increase both farm incomes and on-farm investment.

There is an urgent need to extend EU regulations on UTPs to ACP-EU supply chains since in some major sectors abuses of the weak market position of smallholder producers are endemic. Investments in poverty focused export orientated smallholder production will be undermined unless issues of UTPs along ACP-EU supply chains are addressed. Read more “Proposed EC Regulatory Initiative on UTPs Needs to be Extended to ACP-EU Supply Chains”

CBS controls remain threat to South Africa citrus exports to EU despite recent expansion

Summary
Contrary to EU delegation claims, South African citrus exports to the EU have not tripled since 2007.  Export volumes since 2012 have in fact been 6.2% below the recent peak level attained in 2008. This is in part attributable to stricter EU CBS controls which have fallen particularly heavily on emergent and previously disadvantaged farmers, who find themselves commercially excluded from EU market supply chains. On-going campaigning by Spanish citrus growers for stricter CBS controls remains a threat to South African citrus exports, particularly given the burden the existing control measures place on government plant disease control capacities.

The issue of the differential impact which EU SPS controls have on small emergent commercial farmers and large commercial farmers raises the need to improve the design and application of EU SPS controls so as to support smallholder participation in high value export supply chains whilst still ensuring underlying EU SPS controls objectives are attained. Read more “CBS controls remain threat to South Africa citrus exports to EU despite recent expansion”

Hard Brexit Could Severely Disrupt EU27-UK Agro-Food Sector Trade

Summary

While the EU has been urged to ‘take a more active role in trying to shape a Brexit outcome that is least damaging to its interests’, the ACP Group needs to ensure this approach is extended to the EU’s traditional developing country partners such as the ACP Group.  It is becoming increasingly apparent that for major ACP agro-food export product groups, Brexit could have a major impact on the functioning of existing ACP supply chains currently serving the EU28 market.  This needs to be fully assessed so that as the Brexit negotiations develop the key priorities for administrative and regulatory initiatives and marketing adjustment support are identified.    Read more “Hard Brexit Could Severely Disrupt EU27-UK Agro-Food Sector Trade”

Agro-Food Sector Effects of the Application of MFN Duties on EU27-UK Trade: An Area of Potential ACP Concern and Opportunity

 

Summary

If MFN duties are introduced on EU27-UK trade as a result of a failure to reach a new trade agreement this could disrupt existing ACP supply chains. However such a development could also present opportunities for ACP countries to expand their direct exports of value added products to the UK in sectors such as the cocoa sector.  Marketing adjustment and investment support however could be needed to enable ACP exporters to respond positively to the challenges which lie ahead. Read more “Agro-Food Sector Effects of the Application of MFN Duties on EU27-UK Trade: An Area of Potential ACP Concern and Opportunity”

Post Brexit port chaos could disrupt ACP Supply Chains to the UK via the Netherlands and Belgium

Summary

A consultancy report suggests significant additional logistical costs could arise on EU27-UK agro-food trade regardless of the final UK-EU27 tariff dispensation, as a result of the introduction of new customs controls. Depending on post-Brexit arrangements the cost effects range from additional transportation costs to a need to fundamentally rethink the import-export trade for perishable products. Given major ACP supply chain serve the UK market via other EU member states, this could profoundly disrupt the functioning of these supply chains, with fresh fruit, horticulture and floriculture exports via the Netherlands being most severely affected.  This requires a study to scope the scale of the problem and identify possible remedial measures and the creation of market repositioning support initiatives by both the EU28 and UK authorities. Read more “Post Brexit port chaos could disrupt ACP Supply Chains to the UK via the Netherlands and Belgium”