Press Release: Commission proposes solution to end banana dispute

Author (Corporate)
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Series Details IP/00/1110 (4.10.00)
Publication Date 04/10/2000
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The Communication of the Commission to the Council of 4.10.00 is a proposal to resolve the long lasting banana dispute. After numerous contacts with the parties involved, including banana producers and operators, the Commission confirms earlier conclusions that only a transitional system of tariff quotas, combined with a move, by the year 2006, to a 'tariff only' system strikes the right balance between the different interests. In response to a specific request from the Council, the Commission has studied in depth the modalities of the FCFS system. The Commission proposes that the transitional system of tariff quotas should be managed on a 'first come, first served' (FCFS) basis. Being WTO compatible, transparent and flexible, this system provides a viable alternative to a system based on 'historic references' on which negotiations have reached an impasse. The Communication also proposes to replace the reference to the tender procedure for the fixing of the duty envisaged for quota 'C' by the fixing of a maximum tariff of 300 EURO /t and to increase the maximum tariff preference for ACP imports from 275 EURO/t in the Commission's original proposal to 300 EURO/t to protect ACP interests. The Communication will be discussed in the General Affairs Council on 9.10.00 in Luxembourg. The Commission urges the Council and the European Parliament to take the necessary steps to modify the present banana CMO which a WTO panel has condemned as being inconsistent with WTO rules.

The US formally rejected the European Commission plan.

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