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ICOS Attends Civil Dialogue Group on International Aspects of Agriculture
ICOS Attends Civil Dialogue Group on International Aspects of Agriculture

Record breaking EU agri-food exports in January 2019 were discussed at a DG AGRI Civil Dialogue Group on International Aspects of Agriculture attended by ICOS European Affairs Executive, Alison Graham on 9th April.

DG AGRI and DG TARDE experts together with stakeholder delegates discussed the latest developments in the EU’s trade negotiations and implementation challenges for those trade agreements in force. Key points from the meeting include:

  • Mercosur (South America)

The next round of negotiations will take place in May or June. However significant further progress is not expected as no credible market access offer has yet been made by the block for dairy.

  • Indonesia

Not much progress has been made and recent developments in the EU with regard to the exclusion of palm oil from use in the biofuels sector has complicated negotiations.

  • Singapore

GIs are the only remaining outstanding issue with an agreement expected by the end of the year

  • Australia

Discussions are progressing slowly, due to upcoming elections in Australia this May. As a result, market access offers have not yet been exchanged, however the EU has high ambitions with regard to GIs and SPS measures which are under discussion. The negotiation teams are due to meet for a fourth round on the first week of July.

  • New Zealand

Meanwhile negotiations with New Zealand are moving forward rapidly with the fourth round of negotiations to take place in Wellington in mid-May where specific chapters are hoped to be finalised. The EU and New Zealand exchanged market access offers in February following the second round of negotiations for all but sensitive sectors (including dairy as well as beef and sheepmeat). Top EU Trade official John Clarke stated that the EU will implement measures to protect the dairy sector and not liberalise the EU’s butter or milk powder markets within the agreement, limiting it through a tariff rate quota (TRQ).

  • Japan

DG AGRI will hold a Webinar on the 21st May for EU dairy traders and operators, on the new procedures for the export of dairy products to Japan. Information & Registration:

  • Canada

As a result of EU complaints regarding the TRQ management system for EU cheese exports to Canada, the Canadian authorities have agreed to conduct a review of its TRQs in 2019.


The latest DG AGRI monthly trade figures highlighted that EU agri-food exports increased for the 4th year in a row in January 2019 when they reached a record €11.2 billion, driven to a great extent by increased exports of milk powders (up €58 million). Read the full DG AGRI report here: https://ec.europa.eu/info/files/monitoring-eu-agri-food-trade-development-until-january-2019_en

Alison Graham – European Affairs Executive