The Council today unanimously adopted a regulation opening autonomous EU tariff quotas (ATQs) for certain fishery products for the years 2024, 2025 and 2026, and establishing rules for the management of these quotas.
The newly adopted regulation aims to ensure that the EU’s fish processing industry can continue to source raw materials for further processing from non-EU countries at reduced rates of duty or duty-free.
When setting the ATQs, their potential impact on EU suppliers was taken into account, to ensure fair competition between imported fishery products and EU ones.
ATQs in practice
In recent decades, the Union has become more dependent on imports to meet its demand for fishery products, either because these products are not produced in the EU, or because they are not produced in sufficient quantities.
In order to ensure that the EU’s production of fishery products is not jeopardised and that there is an adequate supply of fishery products for its processing industry, the Council has been adopting ATQs.
Tariff quotas are only granted to those products that are imported for further processing in the EU. The regulation adopted today covers a certain number of fishery products for which, for a limited volume, the duty will either be suspended or reduced for the period 2024 to 2026. Duty and volume are specific to each product.
Given the deterioration in relations between the EU and Russia and in order to ensure consistency with the EU’s position with regard to external action, the Council decided not to allow fishery products originating in Russia to benefit from duty-free treatment or from most-favoured nation treatment.
Additionally, since relations between the EU and Belarus have deteriorated over the past years and due to Belarus’ extensive support for the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the Council also decided to exclude Belarusian fishery products from the scope of the regulation.
The regulation will enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union and will apply from 1 January 2024 to 31 December 2026.
The tariff quotas are 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.