The EU has opted for zero duty on an import quota of 300,000 tonnes instead of the previously suggested reduced duty applied to its tendering process.
The European Commission announced following a meeting of the sugar management committee that fixed volume imports at zero duty would help smaller companies obtain sugar supplies.
The EU’s current duty is Euro 339 per tonne on raw sugar and Euro 419 per tonne on white sugar. The new import quota will be managed on a monthly basis. Additional import quotas are likely to be proposed during 2011.
The Commission initially agreed to a tendering process which would give it more control over the volumes imported and prices paid. Britain, Sweden and Portugal protested that a tender process with minimum duties and volumes forming part of the bid process would only benefit larger importers at the expense of smaller rivals. The new plans are to initially be adopted by the European Commission before a vote on the matter in early March.