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Parliamentary questions
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15 January 2020
P-000231/2020
Priority question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Carmen Avram
 Subject: Dual quality standards for agri-food products restricting European consumers’ rights and discriminating against local producers

The Commission announced on 13 September 2017 that an assessment would be conducted of dual quality standards for agri-food products. The Joint Research Centre published the findings of that study in June 2019. Around one third of the products for sale on the EU internal market were found, on testing, to have similar packaging but different ingredients (1) .

What is more, the Omnibus Regulation itself (Article 6(2)(c)) leaves the door wide open to this dual standard in stating: ‘... unless justified by legitimate and objective factors.’ (2) .

That said, the European Parliament Resolution on the European Green Deal (Article 54) makes clear reference to combating unfair trading practices (3) . Can the Commission therefore state: 

What concrete measures it will take to eliminate dual standards, particularly in the case of agri-food products?

Viewed from the perspective of fair competition policy, does it not feel that this dual standard limits European consumers’ choices and discriminates against local producers?

Does the Commission plan to revise the Omnibus Regulation so as to exclude all exceptions in respect of any marketing of a product in one Member State as identical to a product marketed in another Member State even though their characteristics differ significantly?

(1) https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2019/644192/EPRS_BRI(2019)644192_EN.pdf 
(2) https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/TA-8-2019-0399_EN.html#title2 
(3) http://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/RC-9-2020-0040_EN.html 
Last updated: 21 January 2020Legal notice