Answer – Free importation of South African oranges – P-006637/2016
Under the EPA(1) between the EU and 6 countries of southern Africa, South Africa has fully or partially liberalised 92% of agricultural tariff lines and 97% of trade, while the EU has fully or partially liberalised 93% of tariff lines and 94% of trade. The EU ensured that for fresh oranges, the market opening proposed was cautious and limited, comprising gradual liberalisation of imports in the period up to 30 November, implemented over 10 years. No concession was granted during the most sensitive season (1 December — 31 May). The proposal was tabled in 2011 and discussed with Member States at that time. In more recent years, the agreement has been discussed on several occasions, notably in the Civil Dialogue Group for International Aspects of Agriculture on 27 November 2014, 5 May 2015, 8 October 2015 and 3 March 2016.
The Commission will monitor imports from South Africa, especially in the October-November period. A bilateral safeguard will be available in case the concession leads to an import surge that causes, or threatens to cause, market disturbance.
The EU has secured opening in wines and spirits, poultry meat, live animals, fruits and vegetables, rice, oilseeds, chocolate, pasta and other food preparations, wheat, butter, cheese, pigmeat and other meat products. Also, 251 EU GIs(2) will be protected in South Africa, including the leading wines, sprits and agri-food products. This is a balanced agreement that provides a basis for partnership with the region and opens new possibilities for development, regional integration and trade.