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Better EU access for Aussie prawns.



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Australian Minister for Trade, Mark Vaile

Thursday, November 16, 2000

Better EU access for Aussie prawns

Trade Minister, Mark Vaile, today welcomed a European Union decision cutting tariffs on Australian prawn exports - potentially worth millions of dollars a year in extra export revenue.

Mr Vaile said the EU had introduced a tariff quota for penaeus prawns of the type produced by Australia. 

“The EU quota, which runs for five months from November 1, to March 31, allows in up to 10,000 tonnes at a reduced rate of 3.6%, well below the 12% tariff normally applied to Australian prawn exports to the EU,” Mr Vaile said.

Mr Vaile said that Australian industry and the Federal Government had cooperated closely for a number of years with the aim of reducing EU tariff on our prawn exports.

“Australian producers have faced higher tariffs than most of their competitors, but in spite of this, our seafood exports to Europe have been growing strongly, more than doubling over the past two years, from $19 million to $39 million.  And the Australian Prawn Promotion Association sees potential in this decision for millions of dollars in additional exports”.

Mr Vaile said the Coalition Government made it a priority to reduce or eliminate trade barriers to Australian exports wherever they existed. 

“This latest success comes on top of our success in the past year in regaining access to the US market, allowing the resumption of exports of prawns from both Spencer Gulf and the Northern Prawn fisheries. We are also working closely with the lobster producers to obtain lower tariffs in the EU market.

“Of course my long term goal is to negotiate a permanent reduction in all these tariffs in the next WTO round.”

 Contact:  Bruce Mills 02 6277 7420

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