Belgium | International trade
Members of European Parliament were asked to support that the agri-food sector can benefit from the EU crisis fund for Brexit
Marcel van der Vliet, president of CELCAA has appealed to MEPs to take the appropriate measures to maintain flows in agri-food trade after Brexit.12/9/2020
Presenting the views of European trade in agri-food and commodities at the COMAGRI Hearing on “EU Agriculture after Brexit” held on October 7, 2020, Marcel van der Vliet, President of CELCAA, urged the negotiators to reach a trade agreement to maintain flows in agri-food trade. Trade facilitation measures are crucial to avoid chaos at the borders as of December 31, 2020. CELCAA also requested the support of MEPs in COMAGRI to the request of the agri-food sector to benefit from the crisis fund of the EU for Brexit.
The Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Parliament (COMAGRI) held a public hearing on 7 December 2020 in the afternoon on “EU agriculture after Brexit”. Presenting the vision of the EU agri-food trade, Marcel van der Vliet, President of CELCAA, regretted that three weeks before the end of the withdrawal agreement, traders, operators and food companies still have no clarity on the new regime on 1 January 2021.
The UK's withdrawal from the European Union will have a massive impact, deal or no deal. “Traders hope that negotiators can reach an agreement on an ambitious trade agreement that avoids the tariffs and quotas imposed on agri-food products. Business partners can talk at length about the terms and conditions of a deal, but remember: never forget to close the deal, make the deal cross-over. " “The United Kingdom is the leading export market for agri-food products in the EU, and by far. It will be chaos on December 31, 2020 and onwards if there is no agreement on trade facilitation measures, ”Marcel added.
73% of UK agri-food and commodity imports come from the EU27, representing € 58 billion in 2019. In the event that no agreement is reached, trade flows will shift or even cease, especially in the dairy, meat or wine sector. MFN import duties are prohibitive for many agri-food lines, and the UK will replace sources of supply with other third countries. In case of a deal, customs processes will still add bureaucracy and costs, which will affect trade. The President of CELCAA highlighted the need for trade facilitation measures such as green lines for perishable agricultural products and the acceptance of electronic certificates. With or without a deal, the EU agri-food sector will be deeply affected and lose market share and competitiveness in the UK market.
“The UK is our number one export market. Considering the contraction of world trade and the closure of food services due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, it will take some time for EU operators to find alternative export destinations or new points of sale ”, added Marcel van der Vliet . Taking into account the impact of Brexit on the EU agri-food sector, the President of CELCAA asked MEPs to echo the concerns of the EU agri-food sector to benefit from the EU's Brexit crisis fund.
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