Issue Number 10: 22 May 2020
- UK Trade Policy Update
- The Ministers of Trade of France and the Netherlands advocate for greater linkage of sustainability commitments with economic benefits in trade agreements
- The long-awaited Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement will take effect on 5 July 2020
- The European Commission presents the EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy (F2F) “representing a vision with aspirational targets”
- Recently Adopted EU Legislation
On 19 May 2020, the Government of the UK published its new most-favoured nation (MFN) tariff regime, the UK Global Tariff (UKGT), as well as its text proposals for the envisaged trade-related agreements with the EU.
The Ministers of Trade of France and the Netherlands advocate for greater linkage of sustainability commitments with economic benefits in trade agreements
According to media reports, earlier this month, the Ministers of Trade from France and the Netherlands urged the European Commission (hereinafter, Commission) to consider increasing tariffs against trading partners that fail to meet their commitments on sustainable development as agreed in the chapters on trade and sustainable development (hereinafter, TSD chapters) in the context of preferential trade agreements between the EU and those trading partners. This initiative follows a larger debate on the enforceability of TSD chapters in 2018, which has, so far, not led to any changes in the EU’s approach. Similarly, as EU trade policy cannot be expected to change from one day to the next, the Trade Ministers’ initiative will not lead to any immediate changes, but the European Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan already indicated that he would take the proposal into account for his review of EU trade policy, which the Commissioner intends to publish by the end of the year. The issue of trade and sustainability and the linkage of sustainability issues to economic benefits is a highly sensitive issue and might bring a significant change to EU trade policy.
Addressing trade and sustainability in preferential trade agreements since 2010
Since the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement, signed in 2010, all preferential trade agreements (hereinafter, PTAs) concluded by the EU include a ‘Chapter on Trade and Sustainable Development’ or provisions to that effect. Such chapters generally focus on two key areas: labour and the environment. The issue of sustainability and the TSD Chapters in the EU’s PTAs have become increasingly relevant and an important element of the EU’s efforts to regain public support for its trade negotiations.
According to media reports, the envisaged EU-Mercosur Trade Agreement, which is currently undergoing the final legal review, provides a rather innovative provision related to animal welfare, linking access to the EU quota for eggs to compliance with EU rules on laying hens, which would aim at ensuring high animal welfare standards. At the same time, the broader debate on the approach for the TSD Chapters now appears to pick up again.
A debate on a revised approach to TSD Chapters since 2017
On 11 July 2017, the Commission published a ‘non-paper’ on the Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) chapters in EU Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) (hereinafter, ‘non-paper’), which was intended to stimulate discussion on the topic with the European Parliament and the Council of the EU (see Trade Perspectives, Issue No. 15 of 28 July 2017). The ‘non-paper’ provided an overview of the current EU’s approach on TSD and presented two options for discussion, further developing and refining said approach. The first option is entitled “a more assertive partnership on TSD” and essentially builds on the current approach. It would entail closer internal cooperation, among EU Member States and EU Institutions, and external cooperation vis-à-vis the EU’s trading partners. Furthermore, this option provides for a “more assertive use of the TSD dispute settlement mechanism”.
The second option is entitled “a model with sanctions”, thereby emphasising the main difference between the two options. This option takes up an approach currently used by the US and Canada in their respective FTAs, adding the possibility to apply sanctions at the end of dispute settlement proceedings in case of non-compliance and impacting trade or investment between the parties. In the case of the US, sanctions mean the withdrawal of trade concessions, while the FTAs concluded by Canada provide for monetary fines. Importantly, sanctions require and assume a natural link between sustainable development obligations and trade commitments, namely a “quantifiable harmful impact on bilateral trade or investment as a result of the FTA violation” and the resulting withdrawal of concessions or fines would reflect this quantified impact.
In February 2018, the debate on trade and sustainability reached the level of EU Trade Ministers, who discussed this issue for the first time (see Trade Perspectives, Issue No. 4 of 23 February 2018). In addition to the Commission’s 2017 ‘non-paper’, the issue had become increasingly important with respect to the EU-Viet Nam FTA, notably with respect to Viet Nam’s labour laws and Viet Nam’s adoption and implementation of certain conventions under the United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO).
France and the Netherlands refuelling the debate in 2020
In May 2020, the Ministers of Trade from France and the Netherlands reignited the debate on the approach in the EU’s TSD Chapters by sharing a proposal aimed at allowing parties to a trade agreement to withdraw tariff reductions vis-à-vis trading partners that fail to meet their commitments on sustainable development. More specifically, the Ministers maintain that “Parties should introduce, where relevant, staged implementation of tariff reduction linked to the effective implementation of TSD provisions and clarify what conditions countries are expected to meet for these reductions, including the possibility of withdrawal of those specific tariff lines in the event of a breach of those provisions”. The Ministers reportedly argue that such approach would allow trade policy instruments to provide additional leverage to the implementation of international environmental and labour standards, which they consider as currently being insufficiently enforced. Taking a step towards trading partners, the proposals also supports further “capacity building in the partner country” so as to (presumably) enable the EU’s trading partner to implement the TSD commitments it has undertaken.
Additionally, the Ministers request the EU to pursue a “more streamlined EU notification mechanism to respond to possible breaches of TSD-commitments” and strong reliance on the work of the EU’s new Chief Trade Enforcement Officer. Finally, the Ministers request the Commission to inform EU Member States more regularly on the impact of trade agreements on EU employment and domestic industries and that a commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change must be a pre-requisite for any trade agreement. The latter might clearly be directed at any discussion on a trade agreement with the US, as the current US Administration withdrew from the Paris Agreement.
The delicate issue of linking trade with trade-related issues and concerns
The withdrawal of tariff preferences to motivate compliance or punish incompliance with sustainability commitments can be considered as an economic sanction. In its 2017 ‘non-paper’, the Commission had indicated its concerns with introducing sanctions into the TSD Chapters. The Commission noted that such a more confrontational approach might jeopardise the relations with the relevant trading partners and thereby put the effectiveness of the TSD Chapter as a whole at risk. It appears that not all EU Member States consider that imposing possible sanctions on the EU’s trading partners would be the appropriate approach. The issue is delicate, as it connects trade with non-trade, but trade-related, issues and concerns. However, it should be noted that the EU’s own Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), which provides unilateral preferences to developing countries, already provides in its GSP+ iteration for the temporary suspension of preferences or even their withdrawal if the beneficiary country does not comply with certain provisions (in this context, see Trade Perspectives, Issue No. 8 of 24 April 2020). The connection between trade (i.e., economic and commercial commitments or concessions) and sustainability (i.e., environmental, social and/or labour commitments) is clear. The trade-offs within preferential trade agreements are and must be, first and foremost, economic in nature. Any equation that does not recognise this simple premise, will not work.
On the one hand, it appears absolutely natural that, if a country, or group of countries like the EU, wanted to link some of its preferential market access concessions to its trading partners’ commitments on sustainability (i.e., environmental, social, labour obligations or human rights), it should be allowed to take action (e.g., withdraw the preferential market access concessions) in case its trading partners do not comply with their sustainability commitments. As indicated, this is already the case under the EU’s GSP+ scheme.
On the other hand, the opposite must also be considered: trading partners within a preferential trading arrangement that have committed to comply with often costly and legally, economically and commercially challenging obligations on sustainability, should be rewarded with stable, effective and non-discriminatory preferential market access conditions to the other party’s market if they comply with the sustainability obligations that they have signed up to. Should their market access be distorted or prevented, such trading partners should be allowed to address this trade imbalance either by withdrawing some of their own commercial concessions or be given compensation.
EU industries, NGOs and public opinion at large find it increasingly difficult to accept the granting of market access concessions if the countries benefitting from them do not then comply with their own commitments, often in the area of environmental, social and labour standards and protection. Developing countries often find it burdensome to comply with strict sustainability schemes that they sometimes consider not developmental priorities, that are costly to implement, or that are unilaterally imposed by importing countries. Some countries also find it difficult to accept that, while they are asked to make such efforts to comply, they then find their products competing on markets, such as the EU market, with products of third countries that allegedly are not subject to or violate the same sustainability obligations.
A legal, but also very political issue
The issue is political, as much as it is legal and economic in nature. The trade and legal instruments, to make trade and sustainable development work, do exist (e.g., preferences, sanctions, compensations, standards, conformity assessment procedures, etc.) and can be innovatively used. It remains to be seen how this issue will be reflected in Commissioner Hogan’s report on EU trade policy to be published by the end of the year.
The EU’s trading partners should see the proposal reportedly made by France and the Netherlands with optimism. Tying sustainability commitments with specific trade concessions should work to the benefit of both parties to a PTA. On one end, the party committing to certain sustainability requirements, ideally negotiated by the two parties and inscribed in government-to-government standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures that make integral part of the PTA, will know that ‘in exchange’ for compliance with such requirements it will enjoy preferential and lucrative access to the EU market. On the other side, the EU will know that it has both the ‘carrot’ to encourage third countries to meet ambitious sustainability standards (i.e., the preferential access to its market) and the ‘stick’ to take away those preferences should compliance not occur or be suspended by the trading partner.
Both parties would have economic benefits and this is, in itself, a much welcome development in the process of making international trade more sustainable and a positive force in fighting climate change, protecting the environment, advancing labour standards or pursuing other societal objectives. Too often sustainability fails because the economic incentive is not there, especially when it is expected from small-holders, micro-, small- or medium-sized enterprises and developing countries’ producers. Formalising and ‘weaponising’ that economic dimension of TSD Chapters is a long-awaited development and it is good to see some EU Member States finally advocating it. This system must be properly and fairly constructed, but its potential to become a force for good is significant.
The long-awaited Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement will take effect on 5 July 2020
Indonesia and Australia announced that the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (hereinafter, IA-CEPA) would take effect on 5 July 2020. According to Australia’s Minister of Trade, Investment and Tourism, Simon Birmingham, the implementation of the IA-CEPA would increase export opportunities for both countries and provide significant benefits to businesses, especially in the time of crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The result after nearly ten years of negotiations
Following nearly ten years of negotiations, the IA-CEPA was signed by Indonesia and Australia in 2019. The first round of negotiations had been held in November 2010, but negotiations were then suspended between November 2013 and March 2016 due to the political dynamics between the two countries. After completing twelve rounds of negotiations, both parties finally announced the substantive conclusion of the negotiations on 31 August 2018 and signed it on 4 March 2019. Australia ratified the IA-CEPA in December 2019 through the enactment of the Custom Tariff Amendment Bill 2019, while Indonesia ratified it through Law No. 1 of 2020 concerning Ratification of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement of 28 February 2020. Finally, during a virtual meeting conducted on 4 May 2020, Indonesia’s Minister of Trade Agus Suparmanto and Minister Birmingham agreed that the IA-CEPA would take effect on 5 July 2020. As claimed by both Governments, the IA-CEPA would introduce the concept of an ‘economic powerhouse’, referring to a collaboration between the two countries by mutually utilising the advantages, competitiveness and productivity of each to target market access in third countries.
Indonesia-Australia trade relations in a nutshell
Though neighbouring countries, their geographical proximity, surprisingly, does not appear to contribute much to their trade relations. In 2019, the total trade between Indonesia and Australia had a value of approximately USD 7.8 billion. For comparison purposes, China’s total trade with both countries, had a value of USD 89.2 billion with Australia and of USD 60.1 billion with Indonesia, respectively. The respective top five commodities traded between the two countries in 2019 were:
Australia’s main exports to Indonesia
Indonesia’s main exports to Australia
Petroleum oils (USD 721.1 million)
Petroleum oils (USD 170,1 million)
Coal (UDS 721.1 million)
Metals (USD 111,1 million)
Cattle (USD 576.2 million)
Wood (USD 100.2 million)
Iron ores and concentrates (USD 347.2 million)
Reception apparatus for television (USD 99.9 million)
Wheat and meslin (USD 259.8 million)
Fertilizers (USD 73.2 million)
Source: Indonesia’s Ministry of Trade official website
In addition, the investment activities between the two countries appear to be rather low. While Indonesia currently is not a significant investor in Australia, total investment from Australia to Indonesia in 2018 amounted to USD 597 million, while in 2019, the amount decreased to USD 264 million. The implementation of IA-CEPA is expected to diversify and improve the economic partnership between the two countries.
Important features of the IA – CEPA
The IA-CEPA builds on the trade liberalisation commitments implemented through the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA (hereinafter, AANZFTA), in which Indonesia already agreed to a number of ‘WTO plus’ trade concessions to Australia and New Zealand. The IA-CEPA covers trade in goods (i.e., rules of origin, customs procedures and trade facilitation, non-tariff measures), trade in services (i.e., financial services and professional services), investment, electronic commerce, competition policy, economic cooperation, as well as institutional arrangements and frameworks.
The commitments under the IA-CEPA go further than those under the AANZFTA. For instance, Indonesia and Australia agreed on commitments related to cooperation in the area of technical and vocational education, and to allow the establishment of majority-owned businesses with no geographic limitations for Australian service suppliers in Indonesia. Other important features agreed by both parties are a specific chapter on non-tariff measures (hereinafter, NTMs) with a bilateral co-operative mechanism enabling regular discussion of NTMs, as well as a better public interest safeguard clause in the chapter on Investor-State Dispute Settlement.
Once the IA-CEPA is implemented, 99% of Australian products by value will enter Indonesia at zero duty or under significantly improved preferential arrangements, compared with 85% under the AANZFTA. This is expected to improve access to Indonesia for Australian livestock farmers exporting, inter alia, live male cattle, frozen beef, dairy products, and for Australian sugar. Aside from the zero duty, Appendix 2-A1 on Tariff Rate Quotas of the IA-CEPA specifies that Indonesia will guarantee automatic import permits without seasonality for products for which Indonesia will provide preferential market access under tariff-rate quotas (TRQs). This concerns, inter alia, live cattle, potatoes, carrots, and frozen beef. In parallel, Australia will eliminate all remaining import duties for Indonesian products. Among the Indonesian commodities whose exports are expected to increase figure automotive products, timber, textiles, electronics, and communication tools. Indonesia’s automotive industry plays an important role for the country’s economic growth, contributing more than 10% of the GDP, while Australia has a high demand for automotive products and commercial vehicles. Indonesia achieved the commercial objective that the IA-CEPA provide more trade-facilitative and liberal origin requirements for Indonesian vehicles compared to any other trade agreement concluded by Australia. Most notably, Indonesia’s automotive industry will be able to export its electric and hybrid cars under preferential treatment.
With regard to services and investment, the IA-CEPA provides a comprehensive framework. More specifically, the IA-CEPA highlights key areas of cooperation such as skills exchange and cooperation in the health sector. Regarding the health sector, a side letter dated 9 March 2020 shows that both countries agreed to undertake work on strengthening health professional standards and competitiveness by, inter alia, encouraging relevant health regulators and accreditation bodies to collaborate on health professional standards, particularly on how Indonesia’s standards could be made more compatible with Australia’s standards. Indonesia also committed to encourage increased Australian investment in Indonesia and service providers in the health sector to invest in Indonesia.
With respect to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (hereinafter, TVET), Australia committed to develop training packages specific to certain industries in Indonesia. Under the ‘skill package’ programme, Australia and Indonesia agreed to a reciprocal skills exchange, allowing people with staff tertiary level skill qualifications from both countries to gain six months’ experience in the other party. Pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding on a Pilot Workplace-Based Training Visa Arrangement dated March 2019, Australia has also committed to allow up to 200 visas for Indonesians per year for training opportunities in Australia.
In addition to the aforementioned sectors, Indonesia has offered its overall most ambitious commitments on investment compared to any other trade agreement it has ever concluded. These commitments are supposed to guarantee that Australian suppliers can establish majority-owned businesses with no geographic limitations, in sectors including private hospitals, tourism, telecommunications, construction services, energy (i.e., geothermal plants, electrical power installation and construction, oil and gas platform construction), transport, and mining services (i.e., mine site preparation services). Under Indonesia’s Presidential Regulation No. 44 Year 2016, which established Indonesia’s negative investment list, the above sectors are generally open for foreign investments.
The way forward
The IA-CEPA allows Indonesia and Australia to benefit from the vast potential of the bilateral economic partnership and bring commercially meaningful outcomes across a wide range of goods, services and investment. The agreement appears to highlight and address both countries’ interests, such as Australia’s strong agricultural businesses and Indonesia’s exports of automotive products, particularly electric and hybrid cars. As the IA-CEPA will take effect in the near future, investors, companies and other stakeholders should closely monitor assess the benefits that the IA-CEPA may bring and seek legal advice to help them take advantage of the various trade benefits.
The European Commission presents the EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy (F2F) “representing a vision with aspirational targets”
On 20 May 2020, the European Commission (hereinafter, Commission) presented the much-awaited Communication to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions - A Farm to Fork Strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system. The Farm to Fork Strategy (hereinafter, F2F Strategy) was originally supposed to be presented on 29 April 2020, but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This article intends to provide a first overview on the F2F Strategy.
Background and context
As part of the EU’s Communication on the European Green Deal, adopted on 11 December 2019, the F2F Strategy is intended to illustrate the objectives and actions necessary to secure a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system. The F2F strategy is intended to combine both regulatory and non-regulatory initiatives to attain its objectives. The European Green Deal cannot be achieved without addressing the issue of food sustainability and the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the Common Fisheries Policy will be key tools to support the strategy.
The different parts of the European Green Deal are interlinked and mutually reinforcing. In particular, the F2F Strategy is connected with and intended to directly contribute to the new Circular Economy Action Plan, the 2030 EU Biodiversity Strategy, the Forestry Strategy, the EU Climate ambition and the EU Industrial Strategy to reach zero pollution. In the context of the EU’s commitment to the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals (hereinafter, SDGs) and their implementation, the F2F Strategy aims at playing an important role.
While used throughout the F2F Strategy, the term “food system” is not defined therein. Outside of the F2F Strategy, it has been defined as a complex web of activities involving the production, processing, transport, and consumption of food. Issues concerning the food system include the governance and economics of food production, its sustainability, the degree to which food is wasted, how food production affects the natural environment, and the impact of food on individual and population health.
Issues the F2F Strategy aims to address
Although the transition to more sustainable food systems, including through the CAP and the Common Fisheries Policy, is ongoing, the Commission acknowledged in the Roadmap of the F2F Strategy that it needs to accelerate, given the multiple challenges food systems in the EU and globally are confronted with. The recent Special Report on Climate Change and Land prepared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stresses that it would be impossible to keep global temperatures at safe levels unless there is a transformation in the way the world produces food and manages land. The report estimates that 25 to 30% of global greenhouse gas (hereinafter, GHG) emissions are attributable to the food system. Food systems greatly contribute to the pollution of air, soil, water, and to GGHGgreenhouse GHG emissions, as well as to biodiversity loss. At the same time, extreme weather events due to climate change are severely affecting agricultural and seafood production with serious consequences for the livelihood of farmers and fishers, as well as of coastal and rural communities.
Summary of the F2F Strategy’s content
The EU’s objectives with the F2F Strategy are to reduce the environmental and climate footprint of the EU food system and strengthen its resilience, ensure food security in view of climate change and biodiversity loss, and lead a global transition towards competitive sustainability from farm to fork, covering every step in the food supply chain from production to consumption and feeding into the Commission’s circular economy objectives. The F2F Strategy consists of three main parts, each of them addressing a multitude of matters and potential initiatives. The first part, “Building the food chain that works for consumers, producers, climate and the environment”, includes a first section on “Ensuring sustainable food production”, which addresses matters like rewarding farming practices that remove CO2 from the atmosphere contributing to the objective of climate neutrality, a circular bio-based economy, the reduction of the overall use of chemical pesticides by 50% by 2030, the reduction of fertiliser use by 20% by 2030, the reduction of GHG emissions, the transition towards more sustainable livestock farming, the reduction of overall EU sales of antimicrobials for farmed animals and aquaculture by 50% by 2030, better animal welfare, the protection of plant health, ensuring seed security and diversity, and a commitment to dedicating 25% of EU agricultural land to organic farming.
Section 2 of the first part on “Ensuring food security” addresses matters like climate change and biodiversity loss constituting imminent and lasting threats to food security and livelihoods, as well as the importance of critical staff, such as agri-food workers and importance to mitigate the socio-economic consequences impacting the food chain, and the development of a contingency plan for ensuring food supply and food security to be put in place in times of crisis. The third section of the first part on “Stimulating sustainable food processing, wholesale, retail, hospitality and food services practices” proposes, for example, the development of an EU Code of Conduct for responsible business and marketing practices. Commitments from food companies to take concrete actions on health and sustainability are to focus, inter alia, on reformulating food products in line with guidelines for healthy, sustainable diets, as well as on reducing their environmental footprint and energy consumption by becoming more energy efficient.
Section 4 of the first part on “Promoting sustainable food consumption and facilitating the shift to healthy, sustainable diets” intends to empower consumers to make informed, healthy and sustainable food choices. Here, the Commission announced that it would propose harmonised mandatory front-of-pack (FoP) nutrition labelling (the long-awaited report on the thorny matter of FoP nutrition labelling was published together with the strategy) and would consider proposing the extension of mandatory origin or provenance indications to certain products, taking into account impacts on the single market. The Commission also commits to examine ways to harmonise voluntary green claims and to create a sustainable labelling framework that covers the nutritional, climate, environmental and social aspects of food products.
In section 5 of the first part on “Reducing food loss and waste”, the Commission commits to reducing the per capita food waste at retail and consumer levels by 50% by 2030 and to revising the rules on the “use by” and “best before” dates (as consumers’ misunderstanding and operators’ misuse of date marking frequently results in food that can still be consumed being thrown away). The final section of the first part addresses “Combating food fraud along the food supply chain”, in which the Commission announces to strengthen the powers of control and enforcement authorities. The second part of the F2F Strategy on “Enabling the transition” addresses research, innovation, technology, and investments, as well as advisory services, data and knowledge-sharing, and skills.
Global transition to sustainable agri-food systems
In the third part of the F2F Strategy on “Promoting the Global Transition”, the Commission states that the EU would support the global transition to sustainable agri-food systems, in line with the objectives of the strategy and the SDGs. Through its external policies, including international cooperation and trade policy, the EU intends to pursue the development of “Green Alliances” on sustainable food systems with all its partners in bilateral, regional and multilateral fora. This is to include cooperation with Africa, neighbouring countries, and other partners and is to have regard to distinct challenges in different parts of the world. To ensure a successful global transition, the EU intends to encourage and enable the development of comprehensive responses benefiting people, nature, and economic growth.
The F2F Strategy and the EU’s trade policy
The F2F Strategy notes that in its trade policy, the EU should contribute to enhance cooperation with and to obtain ambitious commitments from third countries in key areas such as animal welfare, the use of pesticides, and the fight against antimicrobial resistance. The Commission states that it would strive to promote international standards in the relevant international bodies and encourage the production of agri-food products complying with high safety and sustainability standards, and would support small-scale farmers in meeting these standards and in accessing markets (in this context, see the article in this issue of Trade Perspectives on proposals for greater linkages between sustainability commitments and economic benefits in trade agreements).
Translating the F2F Strategy into legislation
A Commission official reportedly clarified that the F2F Strategy “represents a vision and targets are not directly anchored or linked in legislation”. The official spoke of “aspirational targets” that would be developed over time and then translated into detailed legislative initiatives, taking also into account the different starting points of each EU Member State. An Annex to the Commission’s Communication presents indicative timetables (from the fourth quarter 2020 until 2024) for specific measures of the F2F Strategy, which will all need to be taken forward in line with the better regulation principles, including evaluations and impact assessments, as appropriate.
The sustainability of food systems is indeed a global issue and the current food systems will have to adapt to face diverse challenges. With its F2F strategy, the EU intends to set standards and targets in priority areas for the EU as a whole. In addition to new policy initiatives, it appears that enforcement of existing legislation, notably for animal welfare, pesticide use and protecting the environment, is essential for the envisaged transition.
Accompanying the F2F Strategy, the Commission published a number of related documents, including a report on animal welfare legislation, a report on the sustainable use of pesticides directive, and the long-awaited report on FoP nutrition labelling. In the Biodiversity Strategy, which was presented the same day than the F2F Strategy, the Commission proposes a far-reaching EU Nature Restoration Plan to increase the share of protected areas to 30% of the EU’s lands and seas by 2030, including 10% under a strict protection status.
Through the publication of these various documents, the Commission has published a lot of “food for thought” that stakeholders now need to “digest”. It remains to be seen when parts of the Commission’s vision will be translated into legislative proposals. The indicative timetable annexed to the F2F Strategy appears to indicate that there is still some time, but in reality the “race to the buffet” has already started and all stakeholders need to be prepared to be able to advance their policy objectives.
Trade and Customs Law
- Notice concerning the provisional application of the Interim Partnership Agreement between the European Community, of the one part, and the Pacific States of the other part
- Decision No 2/2020 of the EU-Singapore Trade Committee of 27 April 2020 on the interpretation, pursuant to Article 16.1(4)(d), of Articles 10.17 and 10.22 of the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Singapore as regards changes to the protection of geographical indications for wines, spirits, agricultural products and foodstuffs registered in Singapore [2020/644]
- Decision No 1/2020 of the EU-Singapore Trade Committee of 17 April 2020 modifying Annexes 10-A and 10-B to the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Singapore [2020/677]
- Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/633 of 8 May 2020 laying down temporary measures for the acceptance of electronic copies of original official documents for applications for import tariff quotas for agricultural products managed by a system of import licences and for applications for import licences on husked Basmati rice, due to the pandemic of COVID-19
- Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2020/676 of 18 May 2020 concerning exemptions from the extended anti-dumping duty on certain bicycle parts originating in the People’s Republic of China pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 88/97 (notified under document C(2020) 3137)
- Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/658 of 15 May 2020 amending Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/309 imposing a definitive countervailing duty and collecting definitively the provisional duty on imports of certain rainbow trout originating in Turkey following an interim review pursuant to Article 19(4) of Regulation (EU) 2016/1037 of the European Parliament and of the Council
- Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2020/668 of 18 May 2020 on the harmonised standards for personal protective equipment drafted in support of Regulation (EU) 2016/425 of the European Parliament and of the Council
Ignacio Carreño, Fabrizio De Angelis, Tobias Dolle, Michelle Limenta, Alya Mahira, Lourdes Medina Perez and Paolo R. Vergano contributed to this issue.
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