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Parliamentary questions
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4 February 2020
P-000630/2020
Priority question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Tiziana Beghin, Eleonora Evi, Daniela Rondinelli, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Chiara Gemma, Dino Giarrusso, Laura Ferrara, Mario Furore, Gianna Gancia, Pietro Fiocchi, Raffaele Stancanelli, Carlo Fidanza, Aldo Patriciello, Elisabetta Gualmini, Nicola Procaccini, Patrizia Toia, Paolo De Castro, Alessandra Moretti, Marco Dreosto, Angelo Ciocca, Nicola Danti, Annalisa Tardino, Isabella Tovaglieri, Mara Bizzotto, Irene Tinagli, Carlo Calenda, Giuliano Pisapia, Francesca Donato, Massimiliano Salini, Caterina Chinnici, Paolo Borchia, Elena Lizzi, Piernicola Pedicini
 Subject: Failure to suspend the zero-duty import regime for rice from Cambodia

After having established the existence of repeated human rights violations in Cambodia, the Commission proposed suspending the zero-duty import regime for certain products from that country, including shoes, sugar and clothes.

However, the list of products for which the standard rate of duty will be reapplied does not include rice. The reason given by the Commission for this decision is that a safeguard clause is already in force for rice imports from Cambodia and Myanmar.

There appears to be no proper basis for excluding rice, owing to the existence of a safeguard clause, mainly because the safeguard clause will be applied for a limited period and with a duty that is to be progressively reduced. Furthermore, Cambodia has brought an action before the Court of Justice with a view to suspending that very safeguard clause.

In the light of the above, can the Commission answer the following questions:

Does it not consider it risky to exclude rice from the list of products subject to customs duties, given that the safeguard clause will be in force only for the next two years and could even lapse before that as a result of Cambodia’s appeal before the CJEU?

Will the Commission add rice to the list once the safeguard clause is no longer in force?

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