Farm Ireland

Monday 20 November 2017

Efforts stall to remove fertiliser tariffs costing Irish farmers €70m per year

Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Efforts to remove tariffs costing EU farmers up to €1bln per year have stalled in Brussels, according to a recent update by the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed.

The Irish Government has been lobbied heavily by IFA on the issue and it commissioned IFPRI (International Food Policy Research Institute) report which showed a failure of competition in the European fertiliser market, costing farmers up to €1bn.

The IFA says the removal of the tariffs and duties on EU fertiliser imports, which would deliver €50 to €70m in annual savings to Irish farmers

According to Minister Creed, the matter of reducing fertiliser costs throughout the EU gained traction in early 2016 due to the ongoing market difficulties being experienced by farmers across the dairy, pigmeat and fruit and vegetable sectors.

“I have long believed that the elimination of fertiliser tariffs and anti-dumping duties is something that could help farmers reduce their input costs and in this context I asked the Commission to consider a temporary suspension of customs tariffs and anti-dumping duties on fertilisers in the lead up to the Council of Agriculture Ministers in March last year,” he said.

Minister Creed says this is something that he actively pursued at Council throughout 2016, both with the Commission and in consultation with my Council colleagues, and he says in fact raised again at Council of Agriculture Ministers last week when he asked the Commission to address the significant overpricing of fertilisers in the EU brought about by the imposition of anti-dumping duties on imports.

The Minister said Commissioner Hogan acknowledged the desirability of bringing about lower prices, but indicated that, despite considerable efforts on his part both with other Member States and internally within the Commission, this is proving very difficult to achieve.

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