The EU entry price system for fresh fruits and vegetables - Paper tiger or powerful market barrier?
The EU protects EU growers of 15 kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables against international competition by the entry price system (EPS), which is designed to restrict imports below the product-specific, politically designated entry price level. This study investigates the relevance of the EPS per product and country of origin. We develop two indicators for the effectiveness of the EPS, which serve as variables in a cluster analysis identifying four classes differing in the relevance of the EPS. The relevance of the EPS is found to be heterogeneous among products as well as countries of origin. It is highest for artichokes, courgettes, cucumbers, lemons, plums and tomatoes. The influence of the EPS on apples, clementines and pears is significantly lower, and of least relevance for apricots, mandarins, oranges, peaches and nectarines and table grapes. The EPS has the greatest effect on countries which neighbour the EU, whereas it is of minor importance for exports from far-away countries with the exception of China and South Africa.
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