In this file:

 

·         UK will cut most tariffs to zero in event of no-deal Brexit

Tariffs to vanish from 87% of imports, excluding some meat, dairy and underwear products

 

·         From farms to supermarkets: MEPs approve new EU rules against unfair trading

New EU rules to protect farmers against unfair trading practices by buyers were approved, on Tuesday.

 

 

UK will cut most tariffs to zero in event of no-deal Brexit

Tariffs to vanish from 87% of imports, excluding some meat, dairy and underwear products

 

Lisa O'Carroll Brexit correspondent and Daniel Boffey in Brussels, The Guardian (UK)

Wed 13 Mar 2019

 

Tariffs will be cut to zero on 87% of imports to the UK as part of a temporary no-deal plan, but prices of some imports including meat, shoes, underpants and cars will go up.

 

In an attempt to prevent a £9bn price shock to business and consumers while “supporting farmers and producers who have been protected through high EU tariffs”, the government on Wednesday set out its long-awaited pricing regime in the event that the UK crashes out of the EU on 29 March.

 

But the move landed the UK in a potential row with the EU after announcing the tariffs would not apply in Northern Ireland, fuelling fears the region would become a back-door smuggling route to Britain.

 

Among the consumer goods that will be hit are imports of beef, prices of which will go up by almost 7%, cheddar cheese, up by about £20 per 100kg, and imported “fully finished” cars, which would attract a 10.8% levy, or about £1,500 for an average new car.

 

Tins of tuna could go up by 24%, imported men’s wool jackets by 12%, and men’s, women’s and girls’ underpants made of synthetic fibre by 12%.

 

The announcements were made in a last-ditch attempt to concentrate the minds of MPs who will be voting later on Wednesday to reject a no-deal Brexit after Theresa May’s 149-vote defeat.

 

Ireland’s European affairs minister, Helen McEntee, said the prospect of tariffs on beef and dairy exports to the UK from the republic would be “absolutely disastrous for Irish agriculture”.

 

Goods from the EU are currently tariff-free, but in the case of a no-deal Brexit, World Trade Organization taxes would have been the default position without this intervention.

 

The trade minister, George Hollingbery, said the measures would protect the poorest families in Britain against price rises. “If we leave without a deal, we will set the majority of our import tariffs to zero while maintaining tariffs for the most sensitive industries.”

 

He said the approach would “help to support British jobs and avoid potential price spikes that would hit the poorest households the hardest”.

 

The new tariff schedule would apply from 11pm on 29 March in the event of a crash out of the EU with no deal and would be in place for up to 12 months.

 

In Ireland, goods could travel freely from the republic into Northern Ireland without tariffs or customs checks as part of a “strictly temporary, unilateral approach” designed to avoid a hard border...

 

more

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/mar/13/brexit-tariffs-on-87-of-uk-imports-cut-to-zero-in-temporary-no-deal-plan

 

 

From farms to supermarkets: MEPs approve new EU rules against unfair trading

 

·         Supporting food producers against big buyers’ unfair trade practices (UTPs)

·         Putting a stop to late payments and short notice cancellations of orders

·         Giving food producers the right to request a written supply contract

 

Source: European Parliament/Europa.eu

Press Releases | PLENARY SESSION | AGRI |  12-03-2019

 

       New EU rules to protect farmers against unfair trading practices by buyers were approved, on Tuesday.

 

New rules, approved by 589 votes in favour to 72 against, with nine abstentions, blacklist practices, such as late payments for delivered products, late unilateral cancellations or retroactive order changes, refusal by the buyer to sign a written contract with a supplier and the misuse of confidential information. Threats of retaliation against suppliers, for instance delisting their products or delaying payments, to punish them for filing complaints, will also be outlawed.

 

Buyers will no longer be allowed to request payments from suppliers for deterioration or loss of products at the buyers’ premises, unless caused by the suppliers’ negligence or to make suppliers pay for the cost of examining customer complaints.

 

Other practices, such as returning unsold products to a supplier without paying for them, forcing suppliers to pay for the advertising of products, charging suppliers for stocking or listing of products, or imposing discount costs onto the supplier, would also be outlawed unless pre-agreed in the supply agreement.

 

Clear complaints procedure

 

Food suppliers will be allowed to lodge complaints where they are based, even if unfair trading occurred elsewhere in the EU. National enforcement authorities would handle complaints, conduct investigations and ensure solutions.

 

Protecting small and mid-range suppliers

 

New rules will protect small, medium-sized and mid-range suppliers with an annual turnover below €350 million. These suppliers will be divided into five sub-categories, (with turnovers below €2m, €10m, €50m, €150m and €350m), with the most extensive protection given to the smallest ones.

 

More information about the new EU rules is available here.

 

Quote

 

“David has finally defeated Goliath. Fairness, healthier food and social rights have finally prevailed over the unfair trading practices in the food supply chain. For the very first time in the EU history, farmers, food producers and consumers will no longer be bullied by big players”, said rapporteur Paolo De Castro (S&D, IT).

 

“This is a great success for all Europeans. This is the EU we stand for: the EU that affects people’s daily lives by eradicating inequalities and fighting for citizens’ health, environment and fairness”, he added.

 

Next steps

 

The anti-UTPs directive needs to be formally endorsed by the Council before it can enter into force. EU states will then have 24 months to introduce it to national laws. New rules should be applied 30 months after entering into force.

 

Background

 

The European Parliament has repeatedly called for measures to tackle unfair trading practices (UTPs) in the food supply chain, since 2010, after adopting the resolution on fairer revenues for farmers and better functionality of the supply chain.

 

According to Commission estimates, agriculture and food processing SMEs in the EU lose between €2.5 - €8 billion per year (1% - 2% of their turnover) due to UTPs.

 

Contacts:

Ján JAKUBOV

Press Officer

(+32) 2 28 34476

(+33) 3 881 73840 (STR)

(+32) 498 98 35 90

jan.jakubov@europarl.europa.eu

agri-press@europarl.europa.eu

@EP_Agriculture

 

Ref.: 20190307IPR30742

Created: 12-03-2019 - 13:15

 

source url

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20190307IPR30742/from-farms-to-supermarkets-meps-approve-new-eu-rules-against-unfair-trading