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Brussels (AFP) Feb 22, 2013
European Union imports of tinned mandarin products from China were hit by a special anti-dumping duty on Friday to protect producers in Europe with high production costs.
The decision to re-impose a duty on prepared or preserved manadrin products such as tangerines, satsumas and clementines was agreed Tuesday by EU ministers. The duty will vary from 361.4 euros a tonne to 531.2 euros and will remain in force until the end of the year.
The main EU producer, Copa-Cogeca, welcomed the move while regretting it was not applied retroactively to the start of the season, in November-December 2012.
"These imports do not have to respect the same costly rules and obligations and food safety standards as those applied in the EU there are huge production and labour cost differentials," said its secretary-general Pekka Pesonen.
He said in a statement that production costs in the EU reach 11-12 euros a kilo (FOB) while comparable Chinese production costs total 6.30 euros.
"We are now already towards the end of February and this regulation was agreed quite late in the season," he added.
"If these measures are not introduced with a retroactive effect from the start of the 2012/3 marketing year, the regulation will have much less impact.
"Copa-Cogeca therefore urges the EU Commission to apply them retroactively, otherwise the whole processed citrus fruit sector will be put at risk and competitivity and jobs in rural areas, especially in southern countries which are already suffering a severe recession, will be threatened", he warned.
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