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Parliamentary questions
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17 October 2005


for Question Time at the part-session in November 2005

pursuant to Rule 109 of the Rules of Procedure

by Hélène Goudin

to the Commission

  Subject: Reduced tariffs on Thai prawns

 Answer in plenary 

The Commission has reduced tariffs on Thai prawns from 12% to 4.2%. It was originally planned to introduce the reduced tariffs on 1 July 2005 but the date was brought forward to 1 April as a result of the devastating tsunami. The hope is that, by reducing tariffs, the EU will help Thailand towards economic recovery. The Council previously agreed that EU aid to countries hit by the tsunami should help to reduce their vulnerability to any future natural disasters. Critics claim that the reduced tariffs on Thai prawns are contrary to the Council's agreement. The reason for this assertion is that prawn farmers cut down coastal mangrove forest to create lagoons. Mangrove forest provides important protection against storms, floods and giant waves. The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation has emphasised that the tsunami would have had less of an impact if mangrove forest had not been razed to make way for prawn farms.


Does the Commission consider that support for prawn farms, in the form of reduced tariffs, is consistent with the Council's abovementioned decision? Has the Commission analysed the implications of prawn farming in Thailand with regard to the clearance of mangrove forest?



Tabled: 17.10.2005


Original language of question: SV 
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