Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – The European Commission (EC) on January 17 imposed tariffs on rice imported from Cambodia and Myanmar in a bid to curb a surge in rice imports from the two Southeast Asian countries.

In a statement released the day before, the European Union (EU) said a significant increase in imports of indica rice from Cambodia and Myanmar into the EU have caused economic damage to EU producers.

The EC has therefore decided to reintroduce import duties that will be steadily reduced over a period of three years, the statement said.

According to the EC’s decision, from January 18, the EU will reinstate the normal customs duty on this product of 175 EUR (199 USD) per tonne in the first year, reducing it to 150 EUR (171 USD) per tonne in the second year, and 125 EUR (142 USD) per tonne in the third year.

During the investigation, launched in March 2018, the EC found that imports of indica rice from both countries combined have increased by 89 percent in the past five rice-growing seasons.

At the same time, the investigation found that prices of the imported rice were substantially lower than those on the EU market and had actually decreased over the same period.

The surge in low-price imports has caused serious difficulties for EU rice producers to the extent that their market share in the EU dropped substantially from 61 percent to 29 percent, the statement said.

Cambodia and Myanmar are beneficiaries of the EU’s Everything but Arms (EBA) trade scheme, which unilaterally grants duty-and quota-free access to the world's least developed countries, according to the statement.

According to statistics, Cambodia exported a total amount of 626,225 tonnes of milled rice in 2018, with 42.9 percent of it going out to European markets.–VNA