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Parliamentary questions
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17 July 2015
Question for written answer P-011546-15
to the Commission
Rule 130
Jean Lambert (Verts/ALE)

 Subject:  Shark finning
 Answer in writing 

Under Regulation (EC) No 206/2009 the EU permits individuals to bring up to 20 kg of shark fins into the EU for personal consumption. 20 kg of shark fins is estimated to be enough to make over 700 bowls of shark fin soup, clearly far in excess of personal consumption levels.

This provision poses a significant threat to the EU’s efforts at shark conservation, most notably Regulation (EU) 1185/2003 as amended by Regulation (EU) 605/2013 on the finning of sharks. In addition, such a large allowance poses significant problems for customs officers, who cannot easily assess whether dried shark fins imported in this way are CITES protected species or not.

This is also an effective tax loophole, whereby Member States are missing out on tax revenue, which would be charged for shark fins imported into the EU through commercial, regulated channels.

Given the negative impacts on EU conservation and tax objectives, will the Commission urgently review the inclusion of shark fins in the fish products personal allowance list?

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