Europêche has presented today a request to the European Commission for the initiation of an anti-dumping investigation concerning imports of tuna processed loins - mainly skipjack - originating in China, which are causing serious economic damage to the European fishing industry. The information furnished by Europêche to the European authorities discloses the existence of unlawful aids and tax breaks allegedly granted by the Chinese Administration to the Chinese exporters of both tuna loins and canned tuna. The European fishing sector urges the EU to eliminate any present and future tariff derogations granted to tuna loins, which mainly come from China, to mitigate further market and economic disruption.
This week, the Council adopted a regulation setting autonomous EU tariff quotas (ATQs) for certain fishery products for the years 2019 and 2020. The ATQ regulation covers species such as tuna, Alaska pollack, cod or flatfish for which a relatively high volume can be imported from non-EU countries at a reduced or zero-duty tariff. Up to 750.000 tonnes of fish will benefit from this scheme and will enter the European markets regardless of their origin, way of production, sustainability of the stock, labour standards or even if the third country has been identified by the EU for illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Europêche believes that, in many cases, ATQs serve the sole purpose of getting a better price from non-EU producers, while putting pressure on EU producers’ prices and employment.