EU Council Hears of Problems from New CIS Tariff

EU - The latest meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council heard how customs tariff changes on live pig exports to some Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries are hitting the pig industries of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland.
calendar icon 21 January 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

Regarding EU live pig exports to the Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan customs union, the Council took note of comments by the Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian and Polish delegations, which drew attention on the situation in the pig sector following the entry into force on 1 January 2010 of the common external tariff of the Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan customs union (5230/10).

According to the document, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland wished to draw the attention of the Commission and the members of the Council to the current pressure in our pig sector.

The Custom Union established by Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan increased the import duty on live pigs for slaughter from 5 to 40 per cent from 1 January 2010. This action has caused great concern and problems for pig producers and exporters from the four EU member states.

The geographical situation of our member states is favourable for the transport of live pigs to the above-mentioned countries, the note continues. For instance, the majority of live pigs from Lithuania are exported to Russia. This market was being hardly developed, reliable contacts with business partners were established and favorable sale price for pigs was negotiated.

In the last several years, exports of live pigs from our countries increased significantly, according to the report. In first nine months of 2009, the total value of exports of live pigs for slaughter (product type code 0103) from the European Union to Russia amounted to almost €113 million compared to more than €54 million in 2006. The value of exports from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland increased from €38.5 million in the year 2006 to €93 million in the first nine months of the year 2009, which constituted more than 82 per cent of the total value of EU exports accordingly.

Lithuania is the leading country by the volume of exports of live pigs for slaughter: in first nine months of 2009, Lithuania has exported to Russia 388,000 live pigs (430,000 in 2009) with a value of €42 million Euro.

The four countries also brought to the attention of the Council the fact that this increase of the import duty may cause the loss of the Russian market and may have a strong negative effect to European pig producers. They added their deep concern about this important issue and asked the Commission to take all necessary steps and measures to protect the interests of the live pig exporters of the European Union.

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