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Specific measures for the outermost regions

Specific measures exist to support agriculture in the European Union (EU)'s outermost regions. This aid is designed to compensate for the restrictions caused by the exceptional geographic situation of these regions.

ACT

Council Regulation (EC) No 247/2006 of 30 January 2006 laying down specific measures for agriculture in the outermost regions of the Union [See amending acts].

SUMMARY

The Outermost Regions (OR) are listed in Article 349 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU:

  • the French Overseas Departments (OD): Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Réunion, Saint-Barthélemy, Saint-Martin;
  • the Azores and Madeira (Portugal);
  • the Canary Islands (Spain).

These regions are called ‘outermost’ due to their geographical remoteness from Europe. The OR generally have a small surface area and are exposed to difficult climates. All these factors present difficulties for the agricultural development of the OR.

This Regulation lays down measures specific to the OR in the area of agriculture. The objective is to meet the additional costs related to the supply arrangements and agricultural activities of these regions.

Specific supply arrangements

Some agricultural products (listed in Annex I to the Treaty), considered to be essential for human and animal consumption or for the production of other products, are covered by specific support arrangements (or SSAs). Under this system, limited amounts of these products may be introduced from the EU with the granting of aid to cover a part of the additional costs related to remoteness or from third countries without being subject to any kind of import duty.

The maximum amounts of products covered by these arrangements are established in a forecast supply balance produced by Member States before being approved by the Commission.

The products covered by these arrangements can only be exported following the payment of import duties and the reimbursement of aid received under these arrangements. This condition does not apply to products which are exchanged between French overseas departments nor to products processed in the outermost regions using products which have benefited from the special arrangements, if they are:

  • exported to third countries or dispatched to the rest of the EU within the limits of dispatches or exports as part of traditional trade flows;
  • exported to third countries as part of regional trade flows;
  • dispatched from the Azores to Madeira or vice versa;
  • dispatched from Madeira to the Canary Islands or vice versa.

Under the specific supply arrangements, no import duty is due on certain types of sugar imported into Madeira and the Canary Islands and certain products from the rice sector imported into Réunion. Aid is also paid for supplies of milk-based preparations imported into the Canary Islands, which are not included in Annex I to the Treaty.

Support for local agricultural production

Community support programmes promote local agricultural production. They are prepared by the competent authorities appointed by the Member States concerned. Their preparation should take EU legislation and policy into account.

The Regulation stipulates that the Community support programmes should indicate:

  • a quantified description of the agricultural production situation in the regions in question;
  • a description of the strategy proposed and an appraisal showing the expected economic, environmental and social impact;
  • a description of the measures contemplated;
  • a schedule for the implementation of the measures and a general indicative financing table showing the resources to be deployed;
  • proof of the compatibility and consistency of the various measures under the programmes and a definition of the criteria and quantitative indicators to be used for monitoring and evaluation;
  • the steps taken to ensure the programmes are implemented effectively and appropriately, the definition of quantified indicators for use in programme evaluation and the provisions for checks and penalties;
  • the designation of the competent authorities and bodies responsible for implementing the programme, the designation of associated bodies and socio-economic partners, and the results of the consultations held.

Annual financial resources

The specific supply arrangements and the measures to promote local agricultural production benefit from the following annual financial allocations (in EUR million):

2007 financial year2008 financial year2009 financial year2010 financial year2011 financial year

French overseas departments

126.6

262.6

269.4

273.0

278.41

Azores and Madeira

77.9

86.98

87.08

87.18

106.21

Canary Islands

127.3

268.4

268.4

268.4

268.42

As regards the specific supply arrangements, financing should not exceed the following amounts:

  • For the French overseas departments: EUR 20.7 million
  • Azores and Madeira : EUR 17.7 million
  • Canary Islands: EUR 72.7 million

Accompanying measures

In addition to the specific supply arrangements and the Community support programmes, this Regulation also introduces other types of derogating measures promoting the agricultural development of the OR.

First, the Regulation provides for the option of increasing European financial aid provided to the OR under the Common Agricultural Policy. The OR benefit from derogations with regard to the maximum eligible amounts of financing from the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

In addition, the Regulation provides for the option for Member States of granting State aid for the production, processing and marketing of agricultural products listed in Annex I to the Treaty. However, this State aid remains subject to authorisation by the Commission.

Furthermore, France and Portugal may present programmes to the Commission for the control of organisms harmful to plants or plant products (with the exception of bananas) in their respective outermost regions. The EU contributes to the financing of these programmes on the basis of a technical analysis of the circumstances at the regional level, up to 60 % of eligible expenditure for the French overseas departments and 75 % for the Azores and Madeira.

Lastly, this Regulation makes provisions for derogations and exemptions that are specific to the outermost regions in four sectors:

  • wine: the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands benefit from derogations to Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 for abandonment premiums, aid for release from storage and measures concerning distillation.
  • milk: only producers in the Azores are regarded as having participated in the overrun of the reference quantity for the purposes of sharing the additional levy under Regulation (EC) No 1788/2003. Madeira (within a local production limit of 4 000 tonnes of milk) and the French overseas departments are exempt from the additional levy scheme applicable to producers of cow's milk laid down by Regulation (EC) No 1788/2003. Madeira is permitted to produce, solely for local consumption purposes, UHT milk reconstituted from Community milk powder, by derogation from Council Regulation (EC) No 2597/97.
  • livestock farming: the French overseas departments and Madeira may import bovine animals from third countries without applying the customs duties. This practice is allowed until the herd of local young male bovine animals reaches a sufficient level to ensure the continuation and development of local animal production.
  • tobacco: Spain may grant aid for the production of tobacco in the Canary Islands up to the limit of 10 tonnes per year. In addition, no customs duties are applied to direct imports into the Canary Islands of certain raw and semi-manufactured tobaccos.

Context

Agriculture in the outermost regions has benefited from the POSEI system (Programme of Options Specifically Relating to Remoteness and Insularity) since 1991 for the French OD (POSEIDOM) and since 1992 for the Canary Islands (POSEICAN), the Azores and Madeira (POSEIMA). The objective of the POSEI system consisted of taking into consideration the geographical and economic handicaps of these regions.

This Regulation therefore reforms the POSEI system and repeals Regulations No 1452/2001, No 1453/2001 and No 1454/2001.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal

Regulation (EC) No 247/2006

15.2.2006

-

OJ L 42, 14.2.2006

Amending Act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal

Regulation (EC) No 318/2006

3.3.2006

OJ L 58, 28.2.2006

Regulation (EC) No 2013/2006

1.1.2007

-

OJ L 384, 29.12.2006

Regulation (EC) No 1276/2007

31.10.2007

-

OJ L 284, 30.10.2007

Regulation (EC) No 674/2008

24.7.2008

-

OJ L 189, 17.7.2008

Regulation (EC) No 72/2009

1.2.2009

-

OJ L 30, 31.1.2009

Regulation (EC) No 73/2009

1.2.2009

-

OJ L 30, 31.1.2009

Regulation (EC) No 641/2010

24.7.2009

-

OJ L 194, 24.7.2010

The successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EEC) No 247/2006 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

RELATED ACTS

Rules for application

Commission Regulation (EC) No 793/2006 of 12 April 2006 laying down certain detailed rules for applying Council Regulation (EC) 247/2006 laying down specific measures for agriculture in the outermost regions of the Union [Official Journal L 145 of 31.5.2006].
See consolidated version .

Community support for combating harmful organisms

Commission Decision 2007/609/EC of 10 September 2007 on the definition of the measures eligible for Community financing in the programmes for the control of organisms harmful to plants and plant products in the French overseas departments, in the Azores and in Madeira [Official Journal L 242 of 15.9.2007].

Commission Decision 2009/126/EC of 13 February 2009 on the Community’s financial contribution to a programme for the control of organisms harmful to plants and plant products in the French overseas departments for 2009 [Official Journal L 44 of 14.2.2009].

Notification of information

Commission Regulation (EC) No 792/2009 of 31 August 2009 laying down detailed rules for the Member States' notification to the Commission of information and documents in implementation of the common organisation of the markets, the direct payments' regime, the promotion of agricultural products and the regimes applicable to the outermost regions and the smaller Aegean islands [Official Journal L 228 of 1.9.2009].

Last updated: 12.11.2010
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