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Brussels, 15 October 2009

Milk: Five Member States face levies worth € 99 million for exceeding milk quota

Levies for Member States which exceeded their milk quotas come to just over € 99 million for the 2008/2009 marketing year, according to a provisional calculation by the European Commission, based on Member States' annual declarations. Last year the total levy amounted to € 340 million. Five Member States (Austria, Cyprus, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands) exceeded their deliveries quotas. Altogether these account for an overrun of 348 400 tonnes, resulting in a levy of € 97 million. Italy exceeded its deliveries quota by 1.5%, the Netherlands exceeded by 1.4% and Austria by 1.2%. For quotas for direct sales to consumers, Italy and the Netherlands reported overruns totalling 7 500 tonnes, resulting in a levy on direct sales of € 2.1 million. Total EU milk production in the 2008-09 quota year (April- March) was 4.2 percent below quota.

Mariann Fischer Boel, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, said: "Despite the increase in quotas in 2008/09, production was almost unchanged from the year before. However, prices were much lower. With output more than 4 percent below quota, it is clear that the low farm gate prices over the past few months have nothing to do with the gradual phase-out of the quota system."

For the 2008/09 quota year (April 2008-March 2009), the total quota for deliveries to dairies was 143.0 million tonnes. The quota is divided into 935 000 individual quotas for the whole of the European Union (EU-27). Furthermore, there is a separate quota of 3.4 million tonnes for direct sales to consumers which is divided into 405 000 individual quotas.

The total levy to be paid is substantially lower in 2008/2009 than in 2007/2008

In fact in most Member States, deliveries have slightly decreased or have registered no change whereas the quota increased by 3 400 000 tonnes (+2.4%) in accordance with the Council decision of March 2008 and with the 2003 Reform of the CAP.

Producers in 22 of the 27 Member States will not pay any levy in respect of deliveries because the national quotas have not been exceeded. In fact, deliveries in 13 countries were at least 5 percent below quota (United Kingdom, Slovakia, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Greece, Hungary, Sweden, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Malta and Romania).

In terms of the absolute amount of unused quota, the UK and FR with respectively 1 456 440 and 1 192 628 unused tonnes had the most significant under supply. The total unused deliveries quota in the 22 Member States which did not use all their quota amounts to 5.73 million tonnes. This means that, with the overruns in the other five MS, the total milk deliveries in the EU 27 were actually 5.38 million tonnes under the total available quota.

How the system works

Cow's milk is marketed in the European Union on the basis of quotas. Each Member State has two quotas, one for deliveries to dairies, the other for direct sales to consumers.

These quantities are broken down among producers (individual quotas) in each Member State. Where there is an overrun in the national quota, a levy is payable in the Member State concerned by the producers who have contributed to the overrun. This surplus levy has to be paid by producers of cow's milk on all quantities of milk or milk equivalent in excess of the quota marketed during a 12-month period, which runs from 1 April to 31 March. Each year before 1 September, the Member States must report to the Commission on the results of the application of the milk quota scheme over the previous period. This notification must be in the form of a completed questionnaire containing all the data needed to calculate the surplus levy. The rate of the surplus levy is € 27.83/100kg of overrun.

Annex 1: Provisional figures for 2008/09

Annex 2: Figures for 2007/08

Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED

Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED

Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED

Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED

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