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EU External Trade: Israel

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 29th November 2011.

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Photo of Andrew Smith Andrew Smith Labour, Oxford East

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she has taken to ensure that fresh produce imports originating in Israeli settlements do not benefit from certificates of conformity with EU marketing standards issued by the Israeli authorities.

Photo of James Paice James Paice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

EU rules do not allow the authorities in any third country exporter (such as Israel) to issue valid certificates of conformity with EU marketing standards for fruit and vegetables originating outside that third country (such as the west bank). The situation hypothecated by the hon. Member in respect of imports originating in Israeli settlements on the west bank cannot, therefore, arise. Although EU rules allow third countries to issue certificate of conformity with marketing standards, that does not mean that every import consignment will be accompanied by such a document, since importers can also apply for a certificate from an EU member state's authority. Moreover, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs take steps to exclude the possibility that goods of west bank origin enter the United Kingdom incorrectly described as being Israeli for preferential tariff purposes, since quite different tariff arrangements apply to these two categories of imports.

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