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Parliamentary questions
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26 April 2021
E-006366/2020(ASW)
Answer given by Ms Kyriakides
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-006366/2020

1. In 2019, under the framework of the Administrative Assistance and Cooperation System 297 exchanges occurred in the EU concerning fraud suspicions(1). The Commission did not receive any information from Member States concerning the change of origin of imported fruits and vegetables. Products found to be not in conformity during an inspection cannot be marketed within the EU. They may be brought to conformity by the traders and put on the market after the national inspection body has re-assessed the conformity, or be discarded from the market.

The country of origin must be indicated on invoices, accompanying documents, packaging and even at retail stage in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 543/2011(2). Member States shall carry out conformity checks also in this respect. Rules on marketing standards apply both to products originating in the EU and non-EU countries.

2. The export quotas for fresh tomatoes are established by the agreement signed between the EU and Morocco(3). In the last tomato export season(4), Morocco exported to the EU around 423,000 tons of which 256,000 tons under quotas(5). The evolution for the current season can be found on the Commission website(6).

3. Regulation (EU) No 543/2011 determines the rules and requirements that all Member States have to respect, also when they carry out conformity checks of fruit and vegetables with marketing standards, including the country of origin, based on conformity certificates issued, in the present case, by the Moroccan control authorities.

(1)https://ec.europa.eu/food/safety/food-fraud/reports_en
(2)Articles 5, 6 and 7 (and Annex I, Part B, Part 10(VI)(C) for tomatoes)
(3)Commission implementing regulation (EU) No 812/2012 amending Regulation (EC) 747/2001
(4)i.e. from October 1st to May 31st
(5)DG Taxud Surveillance data
(6)https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/food-farming-fisheries/farming/documents/report-market-situation-tomatoes.pdf
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