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5 October 2017

 

Beef + Lamb New Zealand and the New Zealand Meat Industry Association are concerned by reports that the EU and UK have reached a “deal” to split the EU’s WTO tariff rate quotas following Brexit.

“Given the importance of the European Union and United Kingdom for New Zealand’s sheep and beef exports, stability and certainty is vital,” said James Parsons, Chairman of Beef + Lamb New Zealand. “The tariff rate quotas form part of the EU’s WTO commitments and are legally binding rights and obligations.

“The New Zealand sheep and beef industry is not seeking windfall gains from the Brexit process,” said Parsons. “However, we cannot contemplate a situation where the quality or quantity of New Zealand’s existing WTO market access rights with the European Union or the United Kingdom are eroded.”

John Loughlin, Chairman of the New Zealand Meat Industry Association, said: “Media reports that the EU and UK are planning to propose splitting the quotas would erode the quality of this access as we would lose the flexibility to respond to changes in demand for sheepmeat and beef across the EU28, aiding market stability, which is in the interests of both producers and consumers.

“The New Zealand red meat sector is open to creative and mutually acceptable solutions that would work for the UK, EU, and fully preserve the WTO rights of New Zealand and other quota holders. The key is full and proper consultation with New Zealand and all those other WTO Members with an interest in the tariff rate quotas.

“We trust that the UK and EU will work with their trading partners in an open-minded and constructive fashion to find a solution that works to fully honour their legal obligations regarding their existing market access commitments to third countries.”

The European Union currently takes about half of New Zealand’s total global sheepmeat exports and all of these exports currently enter the EU duty-free. Without this duty-free access no exports would take place as the out of quota tariff rate is a prohibitive 50 percent.

For more information, please contact B+LNZ Chairman, James Parsons, on 021 206 3208 or MIA Chairman, John Loughlin, 027 542 2405