Why are bananas imported to the US

WTO officials involved in the matter reported on Friday in Geneva. The US could impose punitive tariffs on European goods worth several million euros. The EU Commission confirmed the result of the award. The EU can still appeal the arbitration award.

The dispute over import tariffs for bananas between the EU, Latin American countries and the USA has been dragging on since 1996.

The EU is promoting banana cultivation within Europe, mostly on Spanish or French islands, and has therefore repeatedly tried to shield the market with tariffs on cheaper bananas from America.

Preference for the ACP countries criticized

The WTO has also repeatedly criticized the preferential treatment of bananas from former French and British colonies, the so-called ACP countries.

Most recently, in December, the WTO condemned the EU in favor of Ecuador, the world's largest banana producer. In this case, too, the EU can still appeal.

A spokesman for EU Agriculture Commissioner Marian Fisher Boel regretted the decision and said that the rejected tariffs were no longer in force.

At the beginning of the year, the EU had renewed its customs system. Since 2006, the EU has charged an import fee of EUR 176 when importing one tonne of bananas. Bananas from South America currently have a market share of 60 percent in the EU, 20 percent are self-produced by the EU, the rest comes from the ACP countries.

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