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Parliamentary questions
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25 September 2017
Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-003616/2017

Until the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), goods from Western Sahara (WS) imported into the EU had been receiving, on a de facto basis, the same tariff preferences as those originating in Morocco. This situation makes it difficult for the EU to accurately quantify from EU international trade databases (e.g. the COMEXT database provided by Eurostat) the share of total trade actually coming from Western Sahara.

However, in the case of fisheries products, the data obtained through the Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES) dataset allow us to estimate the share of fisheries products processed in WS for export to the EU, which amounted to ca. EUR 215 million in 2015 and EUR 122 million in 2016.

All goods included in the Association Agreement are potentially concerned by the negotiations. For the time being, however, it can be expected that the main sectors concerned will be fisheries and agriculture.

One of the objectives of the preliminary stage of the negotiation process is to collect data and information, so as to better assess the socioeconomic impact of the envisioned amendment, notably in terms of benefits for the people concerned and the sustainable exploitation of natural resources. This data gathering and assessment process is currently underway.

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