Written Answers. - Refund Payments.

Batt O'Keeffe

Question:

50 Mr. B. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry the steps, if any, being taken to expedite refund payments under the Common Agricultural Policy to exporters of processed agricultural products. [17687/95]

The Department is meeting the European Commission's requirements in relation to the time frame for the payment of export refunds on processed agricultural products. While speed of payment is one criterion of performance, accountability to Brussels for the proper disbursement of funds is also critical and the letter and spirit of these complex regulations must be fully respected.

I fully understand the cash flow benefits that accrue to exporters from speedy payment and can confirm that the processed products area is targeted in a wide ranging computerisation programme for all export refunds at present under way. This will help to reduce payment time further. Applicants for export refunds should in their own interest ensure that all documentation submitted in support of claims is complete, accurate and, in general, facilitates the processing work.