Work package 3: Describe and quantify the EU protection systems for fruits, vegetables, and olive oil

Team leader: INRA Nantes (France)
Other participants : CIHEAM-IAMM

Description of work

Trade liberalization agreements between the EU and Mediterranean countries could result in major changes in European protection of fruits, vegetables, and olive oil. Protection of fruits and vegetables in Europe is unusually complex. In order to analyze the impacts of changes in EU policies for these commodities, we must have a comprehensive picture of the protection now in force between the EU and Mediterranean partners. The EU has a number of preferential agreements with Mediterranean countries, but the agreements may vary by commodity and country. To undertake this analysis, we will make use of the TARIC (Directorate General for Taxation-EU) data base. This is a relational data base containing the tariff and non-tariff barriers and the measures and rules for their application. This data base serves as the reference point for European Union member states and is updated constantly as needed. The nomenclature used for tariffication is much more complex than that used for analyzing trade flows. The additional specificity sometimes is related to quality, but may be linked to other characteristics as well such as seasonality or entry price. These elements are of great importance in understanding EU protection, especially for fruits and vegetables. These considerations lead us to examine in addition to the rules actually applied (TARIC), the conditions of effective use of the rules by importers. This analysis will be done by treating information on Single Administrative Declarations (SAD) from the customs office (Domain Comext – Taric (Eurostat)). In addition to quantifying the effective tariffs in place, we will also summarize important regulations that translate to non-tariff barriers.
In addition to handling the important fruits, vegetables, and olive oil from Mediterranean countries, we will also conduct the same analysis for commodities likely to be important Mediterranean imports from the EU. That is, we will quantify the current protection levels for EU exports of cereals, meats, milk, etc. to the Mediterranean countries.


The two deliverables will be a report and data set containing a complete explanation and quantification of the protection measures in place for the major fruit, vegetable, oil, and processed food products from each of the five important Mediterranean exporting countries and another giving the MED protection of commodities important to the EU. This information will be available on the project web site as well as in report form.