Thursday, 11 July 2019

Questions (722)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

722. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the Mercosur deal will result in the levy under the Hilton quota being reduced to zero from 20% on beef imports into the EU; and the allocations for Mercosur countries under the quota in addition to prime beef cuts. [31217/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The ‘Hilton’ beef quota is the informal name of the tariff quota for the European Union, regulated by Commission Regulation (EU) No 593/2013, which provides for the opening and administration of tariff quotas for high-quality fresh, chilled and frozen beef and for frozen buffalo meat. The Hilton Quota beef enjoys a duty preference vis-à-vis the European Union Most Favoured Nation import regime.

The quota has been in operation since 2009, with an initial allocation of 65,250 tonnes of high quality fresh, chilled and frozen beef, and 2,250 tonnes of buffalo. As of 2012, the quota consists of 66,826 tonnes of high-quality fresh, chilled and frozen beef, and 2,450 tonnes of buffalo. The suppliers are Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Canada/USA, Australia and New Zealand.

The country breakdown for the Mercosur countries under the Hilton quota is as follows:

Argentina - 29,700 tonnes

Brazil - 10,000 tonnes

Paraguay - 1,000 tonnes

Uruguay - 6,376 tonnes 

The headline political agreement between the EU and Mercosur countries proposes that once the agreement comes into force, it will see the elimination of the in-quota tariff rate, which is currently set at 20%.