Cows udder© Reinhard Hölzl / imageBROKER/REX Shutterstock

A dozen EU countries exceeded their national milk quotas for the 2014-15 year and face superlevy fines totalling €818m (£597m), according to provisional figures from the European Commission (EC).

The UK escaped penalties, ending the year 6.1% below quota, which equates to nearly 1m tonnes below its national limit.

But Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria and Poland all overshot their national production limits for deliveries to dairies.

Superlevy losers – what they will pay

  • Germany €309m (£256m)
  • Poland €161m (£118m)
  • Netherlands €135m (£99m)
  • Ireland €71m (£52m)
  • Austria €44.6m (£33m)
  • Italy €30.5m (£22m)
  • Denmark €24.2m (£18m)
  • Belgium €21.8m (£16m)
  • Spain €10m (£7m)
  • Luxembourg €5.3m (£4m)
  • Estonia €2.2m (£1.6m)
  • Cyprus €1.4m (£1m)

See also: Call to refund superlevy to help struggling milk producers

Belgium and the Netherlands also overshot their direct sales quota, which means they will face additional penalties.

This is the final year that superlevy will be charged, after milk quotas were removed from 1 April 2015.

Total deliveries across the EU were 3.9m tonnes higher in 2014-15 than in 2013-14 – an increase of 2.7%.

However, overall the EU came in 2.1% under its total production limit.

Germany and Poland face the biggest fines at €309m (£256m) and €161m (£118m) respectively. Germany increased its production between 2013-14 and 2014-15 by more than 0.5mt.

The EC said to ease the financial burden on farmers, member states would get the option to spread superlevy penalty charges over three years with no interest applied.

In 2013-14 eight countries – Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Denmark, Austria, Ireland, Cyprus and Luxembourg – exceeded quota and incurred fines of €409m (£299m).