Vegetables and Pulses Outlook No. (VGS-303-01) 11 pp

July 2004

European Trading Arrangements in Fruits and Vegetables

The European Union (EU) participates in regional and preferential trading arrangements more than any other country or region. Over 70 percent of EU fruit and vegetable imports are from countries benefiting from preferential treatment for some portion of that trade. The most valuable preferences are accorded the 42 least developed countries, while 77 former colonies of EU countries also receive important preferences. The EU's many preferential agreements create a mosaic of tariffs, quotas, and other import restrictions that vary considerably among products and among preferred partners which makes analysis impossibly complex. Exports from countries without preferences, including the United States, are at a disadvantage in EU markets.

Keywords: European Union, fruits, vegetables, preferential agreements, trade, managing imports

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