Export refunds to be phased out
The European Commission has now set export refunds to "zero" in the last remaining product area – the poultry meat sector. This means that for the first time, no new export refunds can be applied for. Any exports still linked to refunds will be wound down. Export refunds will be discontinued over the second half of 2013 and 2014.
This was decided by the Management Committee for the Common Organisation of Agricultural Markets at its meeting on 18 July 2013.
Germany had long advocated the termination of agricultural export refunds. In the interests of fair competition for developing countries in particular, the instrument of export refunds should be restricted to crisis situations. During the 2013 negotiations on reforming the Common Agricultural Policy BMELV had pushed hard for export refunds to be dismantled.
Due to the stronger market orientation within the Common Agricultural Policy, EU export refunds have sunk rapidly in recent decades. They now are virtually meaningless for the export of agricultural products from the EU. Whereas more than 10 billion euros were paid out in 1993 when there were just 12 member states, the figure dropped to a mere 146 million euros in the 2012 financial year – with 27 member states.
The goal of export refunds is to strengthen the competitiveness of domestic producers on the world market by partially compensating them for the difference between the higher domestic price and the lower world market price.
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