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Parliamentary question - E-005577/2021(ASW)Parliamentary question

Answer given by Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis on behalf of the European Commission

Imports must comply with relevant EU regulation and standards. In the Trade Policy Review[1] it is explained that, under certain circumstances as defined by the World Trade Organisation ( WTO) rules, notably in pursuance of global environmental objectives or to respond to ethical concerns, it is appropriate for the EU to require that imported products comply with certain production requirements. The Commission will present by June 2022 a report containing an assessment of the rationale and legal feasibility of applying EU health and environmental standards to imported agri-food products, and identify concrete initiatives to ensure better consistency in their application. The Commission will also maintain engagement and build alliances with like-minded partners to foster global sustainability ambitions.

Concerning the protection of agricultural producers, the new Common Agricultural Policy has been designed to support European farmers toward sustainable agriculture practices. In addition, it provides a safety net for agricultural markets, including exceptional measures in cases of market disturbance.

With respect to trade policy, the EU remains committed to give due consideration to sensitive agriculture sectors and balance offensive and defensive trade interests carefully.

Consumer protection is ensured by requiring that only food which complies with EU sanitary and phytosanitary import requirements can be imported into the EU. Free Trade Agreements do not affect or undermine EU food safety and animal and plant health legislation, as these legal requirements are not negotiable.

Last updated: 28 February 2022
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