`New Rules for Tunisian Olive Oil Exports to Europe - Olive Oil Times

New Rules for Tunisian Olive Oil Exports to Europe

By Paolo DeAndreis
May. 11, 2022 16:20 UTC

New rules in Tunisia stip­u­late that the country’s olive oil pro­duc­ers must obtain spe­cific autho­riza­tion to par­tic­i­pate in the country’s duty-free export quota pro­gram with the European Union.

According to the Italian news agency Ansa, the new Tunisian pres­i­den­tial decree extends to all Tunisian com­pa­nies already reg­is­tered in the offi­cial list of olive oil exporters.

As a result, inter­ested exporters will have to receive per­mis­sion from the Ministry of Agriculture at least a week before the actual ship­ment.

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Currently, the coop­er­a­tion agree­ment signed by the European Union with the North African coun­try allows Tunisia to export up to 56,700 tons of duty-free olive oil to E.U. mem­ber states annu­ally.

The new mea­sures are meant to enhance the trace­abil­ity of Tunisian olive oil prod­ucts. To obtain the autho­riza­tion, exporters will have to enter sev­eral details in their requests, includ­ing the importer part­ner data and a copy of the sale con­tract.

That con­tract will detail the expected deliv­ery times, vol­umes, qual­ity of the olive oil and the price set for the prod­uct. The agree­ment will come into force after the min­istry has approved it.

The duty-free trade agree­ment is highly sig­nif­i­cant for Tunisian olive oil pro­duc­ers. In recent years, local author­i­ties have asked the European Union to expand the 57,600 tons quota to at least 100,000 tons.

However, farm­ers in some European coun­tries have long protested against duty-free imports from Tunisia, which they per­ceive as unfair com­pe­ti­tion.

Coldiretti Puglia, a regional branch of the Italian farms’ asso­ci­a­tion, said imports of Tunisian olive oil should be sub­jected to the same rules that Italian pro­duc­ers have to abide by, includ­ing rules about trace­abil­ity and prove­nance.

Tunisian olive oil sales’ over­all value has been grow­ing in recent times. In April, Tunisia’s agri­cul­ture min­istry said olive oil sales reached 620 mil­lion dinars (€190 mil­lion) in the first three months of the crop year.

These fig­ures rep­re­sent a 32-per­cent increase com­pared to the same period of the pre­vi­ous year, with 18 per­cent of that increase com­ing from exports.

The Tunisian National Observatory on Agriculture (Onagri) added that a 40-per­cent rise in aver­age olive oil export prices was one of the rea­sons behind the spike in exports.


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