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Parliamentary questions
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9 April 2019
Answer given by Mr Hogan on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-000763/2019

In the first quarter of 2018/19, imports of olive oil into the EU decreased by 12.8% compared to the same period of the previous campaign (37 671 tonnes of olive oil imported, down from 43 180 tonnes).

The Union legislation(1) defines marketing standards for olive oil aiming to ensure a good functioning of the internal market, and to protect against fraudulent practices. The system of conformity checks in the olive oil sector established by the European Commission is a key element to ensure those standards are respected and to prevent fraud from occurring.

Member States are responsible for implementing the system of checks and verifying the accuracy of the labelling and the conformity of the trade name of the product with the content of the container on the basis of a risk analysis, which may include the country of origin.

Since 2012, according to Article 4 of Regulation (EU) No 29/2012, the labelling of the designation of origin is compulsory for extra virgin olive oil and virgin olive oil.

In case of blends of virgin olive oils originating from different countries, the operator can indicate the origin by mentioning either ‘blend of olive oils of European Union origin and not of European Union origin’ or by making a reference to origin within the EU and outside the EU; the latter allowing a more accurate indication of origin of the blend.

The Commission considers these provisions sufficient for the consumers to make an informed choice between a particular national origin and a blend of origins. Any misuse of such origin indications could be fraudulent. In case of non-compliance, Member State authorities are responsible for implementing effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties in case of non-compliance.

(1)Commission Regulation (EEC) No 2568/91 of 11 July 1991 on the characteristics of olive oil and olive-residue oil and on the relevant methods of analysis (OJ L 248, 5.9.1991, p. 1‐83) and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 29/2012 of 13 January 2012 on marketing standards for olive oil (OJ L 12, 14.1.2012, p. 14‐21).

Last updated: 10 April 2019Legal notice