Cambodia rice exports to EU to be tariff-free from January 18

The European Union’s import tariffs on Cambodian and Myanmar long-grain white rice will revert to zero from January 18, said S&P Global Platts, the EU Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade. The tariffs were introduced by the European Commission (EC) three years ago on Cambodian rice exports.

Before the tariffs were imposed on January 18, 2019, the EU has had been steadily increasing its imports of rice from both Cambodia and Myanmar, in particular of the cheaper long-grained indica variety, and as a consequence, the price of rice grown in the EU dropped significantly.

Led by Italy, EU rice-producing countries tabled a request for “trade safeguards” to be instated on imports from Cambodia and Myanmar of the long grain indica variety of rice, which started at €175 per ton for the first year and was reduced to €125 per ton this past year.

Both Cambodia and Myanmar are beneficiaries of the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) trade scheme which removes duty on exports from the two countries into the EU to help alleviate the poverty the two countries suffer from.

Even though this preferential treatment of Cambodia had been lifted by the EU in 2020 due to human rights concerns, rice exports to the EU were still allowed to benefit from the scheme.

Now with the lifting of these safeguards on January 18, Cambodian rice exporters are excited about the prospect of exports to the EU bouncing back to previous levels.

“We want to thank all the European Commission for supporting Cambodia and allowing these tariffs to be removed,” rejoiced Song Saran, president of the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) and CEO of Amru Rice, one of the top rice exporters in Cambodia that has more than 10,000 contract farmers.

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Author: Anthony McGonigle 

Source: Khmer Times 

January 14, 2022