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Parliamentary questions
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24 July 2019
Question for written answer E-002413-19
to the Commission
Rule 138
Mara Bizzotto (ID)

 Subject:  EU-Vietnam agreement: production of Japonica rice in Italy and the EU at risk
 Answer in writing 

On 30 June 2019, the EU and Vietnam signed a free trade agreement providing for customs duties to be reduced virtually to zero (-99%) and for a duty-free quota of about 80 000 tonnes of rice entering the EU market from Vietnam. Italian producers and trade associations, such as Confagricoltura, Coldiretti and Ente Nazionale Risi, are very concerned about the extremely serious repercussions that the agreement will have on Italy, the biggest rice producer in Europe, with more than 4 000 rice growers. Asian rice does not comply with environmental sustainability and social standards and has significantly lower production costs than European rice, causing unsustainable unfair competition. Last year, imports of milled Japonica rice at zero duty rates into the EU increased exponentially, to 52 000 tonnes (+149%); the Japonica variety accounts for 75% of European rice production, and Italian producers and trade associations are therefore calling on the EU to urgently adopt a safeguard clause for European rice against imports of milled Japonica rice in order to protect our producers.

1. Will the Commission act as called for by Italian rice producers?

2. Does the Commission not consider it necessary to revise the EU-Vietnam Agreement as soon as possible in order to safeguard Italian and European rice?

Original language of question: IT 
Last updated: 5 August 2019Legal notice