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Assistance for traditional ACP suppliers of bananas
From 1994 to 2008, the European Union (EU) provided temporary technical and financial assistance for traditional suppliers of bananas from African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states. This assistance was intended to enable them to adapt to the new market conditions in the banana sector and to help beneficiary countries to be more competitive and/or to diversify their economies.
Council Regulation (EC) No 2686/94 of 31 October 1994 establishing a special system of assistance to traditional ACP suppliers of bananas.
Council Regulation (EC) No 856/1999 of 22 April 1999 establishing a special framework of assistance for traditional ACP suppliers of bananas.
Traditional African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) suppliers of bananas have benefited from a framework of assistance to improve the competitiveness and diversification of their agricultural production.
The term traditional ACP suppliers of bananas does not refer to all current ACP suppliers of bananas. The countries involved (defined according to historical references) are: Belize, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Madagascar, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Somalia and Suriname.
Within the meaning of the Regulation, the term "bananas" means fresh or dried bananas, excepting plantains.
The temporary special framework of assistance (SFA) is established by Regulation (EC) No 856/1999 for a period of ten years with effect from 1 January 1999.
Activities eligible for assistance
The assistance measures aim to:
- increase productivity and improve product quality, including in the field of plant health;
- adapt production, distribution or marketing methods, particularly in the context of the standards provided for in Regulation (EEC) No 404/93 and (EC) No 1234/2007;
- establish producers' organisations to improve the marketing and competitiveness of their products;
- develop fair trade, and systems of certifying environmentally-friendly production methods;
- develop a production and/or marketing strategy to meet the requirements of the market;
- assist with training, market intelligence and the development of environment-friendly and fair production methods;
- support the diversification of production where improvement in the competitiveness of the sector is not sustainable.
The financial assistance provided is designed to complement and reinforce the assistance provided under other instruments of development cooperation. Each year, the Commission fixes the maximum amount available to each supplier on the basis of the competitiveness gap observed and the scale of banana production of the country concerned.
The Regulation provides for mechanisms to reduce Community aid gradually. From 2004, a maximum reduction coefficient of 15 % will be applied each year to the level of assistance made available to each country. When programmes are implemented, this reduction coefficient will be reduced to an extent equivalent to the increase in competitiveness observed.
The projects financed under the "bananas" budget heading were devolved to the Commission delegations in the last quarter of 2005. This devolution has enabled the delegations to manage projects more effectively and to catch up on any commitment or payment backlogs.
The Commission was required to present a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the operation of the Regulation by 31 December 2000 and every two years thereafter.
It presented its first two-yearly report in February 2001, and the second in December 2002.
Since the common market organisation (CMO) in bananas was established in 1993, ACP states have benefited from a preferential trade regime for exporting bananas to the EU. As such:
- from 1993 to 2005 imports of bananas from non-ACP states were subject to quotas and customs duties. ACP states were not subject to customs duties within quota and benefited from reduced customs duties for imports above the quota;
- in 2006 the general imports system was replaced by a system based only on customs duties, except for ACP states which benefited from a quota system exempt from customs duties;
- since 2008, the ACP states which have negotiated an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) have benefited from access to the market without quotas or customs duties. The EPAs replace the trade provisions of the Cotonou Agreement which expired on 31 December 2007;
- since 15 December 2009 customs duties applicable to imports from third countries (non-ACP states) have been EUR 148/tonne.
The special framework of assistance for ACP suppliers established in 1999 came to an end in 2008; however a number of projects are still underway.
|Act||Entry into force||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
|Regulation (EC) No 2686/94||
OJ L 286 of 5.11.1994
|Regulation (EC) No 856/1999||
OJ L 108 of 27.4.1999