EU still silent on import quotas

29-09-2006 | |

Thailand has not been able to persuade the European Union (EU) to give a special import quota on its chicken exports after meeting with the EU’s representative under World Trade Organisation rules.

According to Ambassador Puangrat Asavapisit, Thailand’s WTO representative, the EU has not yet responded to Thailand’s proposal to ease its import quota. The proposal is designed to help Thailand maintain its share of Europe’s chicken market after the EU earlier announced that it would change its import regulations.
Puangrat said Thailand was trying to negotiate for the best concessions possible because processed chicken has historically been a major export products to the EU.
Thai delegates negotiated with EU officials in Geneva early this month. However, the EU has not agreed to Thailand’s proposal for a special import quota of 300,000 tonnes per year and a quota increase of 25 percent in three years.
According to the Commerce Ministry, Thailand shipped 106,503 tonnes of processed chicken to the EU, worth 266 million euros (12.6 billion Thai baht) last year. In the first seven months of this year, Thailand exported 67,555 tonnes of chicken worth 7.76 billion Thai baht to the EU. The industry expects chicken exports to the EU to grow 25 to 30 percent a year.
Puangrat said the second bilateral meeting between Thailand and the EU would be held in Bangkok next month.
“Although the EU has its own position to protect its domestic industry, Thailand will ask for the fairest practices under the EU’s new import conditions,” she said.
The EU announced that it would implement a new quota system, which increases import duties on salted chicken, cooked chicken and turkey.
Thai exporters say the import rules will reduce chicken export growth. The EU is the second-largest market for Thai chicken exports, after Japan.