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C 110 E/132 Official Journal of the European Union EN 8.5.

2003

As mentioned under point 2, if the Parliament and the Council adopt the Commission proposal, the rules
on controls on imports will apply. The Commission has no intention of proposing specific rules
concerning the control of the four substances aimed to be phased out by 2006. However, in the new
legislative proposals foreseen in the White Paper on Food Safety (1) the concerns of the Honourable
Member will be addressed in a more general context.

(1) COM(1999) 719 final.

(2003/C 110 E/150) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2938/02


by Jan Mulder (ELDR) to the Commission

(17 October 2002)

Subject: Polish import restrictions on cut flowers from the European Union

The pre-accession negotiations have included talks with the applicant countries concerning the ‘double
profit’ for cut flowers. Although satisfactory agreements have been reached with a number of applicant
countries, including Hungary, on a reciprocal zero tariff for cut flowers, Poland is still refusing to agree to
any reduction in its tariffs, so that the Polish cut-flowers market is still protected against exporters from
the European Union by means of tariffs of between 35 and 45 %. Exporters from the European Union are
feeling the adverse effects of this situation every day.

1. Is the European Commission aware of the existence of tariff barriers hampering the export of cut
flowers from the European Union to Poland?

2. Can the Commission state what approach is being employed vis-à-vis the Polish authorities with a
view to persuading them to agree to a ‘double profit’ system, as applied to the cut-flower trade with
Hungary since 1 July 2002?

3. Can the Commission state when the problems are likely to be resolved, clearing the way for free
trade in cut flowers between the European Union and Poland?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(21 November 2002)

The second round of ‘double-profit negotiations’ was launched in December 2001. Agreements have so far
been reached with nine of the ten Central and Eastern European Countries  the negotiations with Poland
have not yet been concluded. A liberalisation of live trees and plants except cut flowers (CN 0603) came
into force on 1 January 2001, both as regards Community imports from Poland and Polish imports from
the Community.

1. Poland applies a duty of 35 % on imports of most of the cut flowers originating in the Community.
Poland also applies the special safeguard clause (SSG) under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on
flowers.

2. The Community suggested already during the negotiations of 2000 a full liberalisation of live trees
and plants including cut flowers. The same proposal has been put on the negotiation table for the current
round of negotiations.

3. A new trade liberalisation package will be concluded if and when the two parties are ready to
conclude, and that has not yet been the case.

However, at the latest, upon Poland’s accession to the Union, trade in flowers will be free.