Commission to propose new solution for banana dispute

The Commission proposed changes to EU banana imports regime in an attempt to resolve the trade dispute with the US and Latin American countries.

The EU Commission proposed a new strategy on 8 July to try to resolve the dispute about the European Union's banana imports regime, where no compromise with third countries could be reached in eight months of discussions.

Under the new strategy, the Commission will continue to study a transitional system of tariff quotas, but at this stage on a "first come, first served" basis for the three tariff quotas. A tariff preference of 275 euro/t for the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries would apply.

The Commission retains its proposal for an automatic transition, on 1 January 2006, to a system based on tariffs only. In addition, the Commission asks the Council to give its authority to begin negotiations under Article XXVIII of the GATT with the relevant suppliers in order to implement a flat tariff system, in case no solution can be found on the tariff quota basis.

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