Fruit and vegetable access to EU markets: Dissecting tariffs faced by Mediterranean countries
This paper analyzes the access of Eastern and Southern Mediterranean countries to the EU fruit and vegetables market and provides a measure of the level of preferences from which they benefit. To take into account the complexity of EU protection in the F&V sector, in particular the seasonality of protection and the Entry Price System, we conducted our analysis at a very disaggregated level (eight digits of the nomenclature, monthly data). We showed that, on average, Mediterranean countries do have significant preferences compared to other countries exporting to the EU. However, the magnitude of the preferences differs among countries; Morocco has the highest preference, while Syria and Israel have the lowest. We simulated a multilateral reduction in the MFN tariffs (as planned in the Doha Round) and showed that this would reduce the heterogeneity within the zone by more strongly eroding the preferences of the most advantaged countries. The classification of Entry Price products as sensitive products would either benefit or have no effect on most Mediterranean countries.
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