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Parliamentary questions
PDF 104kWORD 20k
10 September 2018
Question for written answer P-004593-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Ignazio Corrao (EFDD) , Marco Valli (EFDD) , Isabella Adinolfi (EFDD) , Laura Ferrara (EFDD)

 Subject:  Duty-free Tunisian organic extra-virgin olive oil in Sicily
 Answer in writing 

On 28 August, it was reported that a ship had arrived in Palermo carrying around 800 tonnes of duty-free extra-virgin olive oil from Tunisia which had been purchased by a Sicilian firm.

According to the entries in the register ‘Import quota for Tunisian olive oil 2018’, the duty‐free quota for 2018 of 56 000 tonnes of olive oil had already been exceeded in the month of January(1). It would also seem that the Commission is planning to approve, for the two-year 2019-2020 period, the importation of a tax-free quota of 30 000 tonnes of Tunisian oil, which has caused particular alarm among olive-oil farmers in Sicily, Calabria and Apulia.

There is also a risk that domestic importers, who in Italy are covered by the customs secret under the right to privacy, could sell that Tunisian olive oil without indicating its true source on the label.

Can the Commission:
1. Confirm that this exemption from customs duty is illegal, given that the duty-free quota was used up in January 2018;
2. Clarify who is responsible for guaranteeing the transparency and traceability that ensures the public are aware of — and enables a track to be kept of — products imported into Sicily;
3. State whether it considers the use of the customs secret to be illegitimate, in view of the consumer’s overriding right to access the list of importers of products from abroad?


Original language of question: IT 
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