3 October 2000
Union to fight tariffs on Russian AN

By FWi staff

The National Farmers Union has announced that it is to fight swingeing tariffs on the import of Russian ammonium nitrate (AN).

This comes weeks after the union challenged the temporary duties on fertilisers from Poland and the Ukraine.

The NFU believes that the tariffs have had an adverse effect on competition in the market.

It says high tariffs block a key source of AN to UK farmers, which has resulted in extortionate price rises of 40%.

Prices are likely to rise even further each month.

The NFU is currently preparing evidence to enable the Office of Fair Trading to carry out a complete investigation of the UK fertiliser market.

The Russian duties were originally imposed five years ago by the European Commission, following an investigation into illegal dumping.

However, the NFU believes that circumstances have changed significantly since then, and the duties should now be removed.

Additional tariffs were introduced in July on supplies from Poland and the Ukraine, but could be made permanent in January.

The NFU has pressed for this duty to be scrapped or, at the very least, lowered.

Meanwhile, the NFU is backing reforms to the EU Fruit and Vegetables Regime, which it believes will improve UK growers position on the global market.

The changes were drawn up by UK fruit and vegetable producer organisations (POs) as part of the Europe-wide review of the regime.

Submissions have been put to the EU Commission at a seminar attended by representatives of each member state on Monday (02 October) and Tuesday (03 October).

Included are the recommendations that:

  • Producer organisations should be recognised for a nominated list of crops and be able to add single crops to their portfolio to meet customer demands;
  • The repayment period for match funding should be more flexible;
  • Allocation of funding to different projects should be permitted to meet changing demands;
  • Funding should not be affected provided at least 50% of produce is provided by PO members;
  • Investments in canning, bottling, freezing, juicing and other preserving and processing operations should be eligible for funding.