BELGIUM: EU approves wine deal with Croatia and Macedonia
The European Union has agreed a trade deal with Macedonia and Croatia on wine and spirits, which will open up mutual access to each wine market and protect commercial names of beverages.
The deal ties up loose ends left out of the Stabilisation and Association Agreements (SAAs) that the EU signed with Macedonia in April and Croatia in October.
Macedonia will now be able to export 300,000hl of wine to the EU every year, most of which will be bulk wine for the wholesale market. The EU, in return, will gain the right to export a total of 3,000hl of wine to the country duty free. The quota will rise 300hl a year.
More reciprocal measures will be discussed by 2005.
The Croatian deal sees the country able to export 30,000hl of bottled wine a year with the wholesale quota fixed at 15,000hl. The bottled quota can rise by 10,000hl a year, but yearly rises in quotas will only take place if exporters use at least 80% of the previous year's levels. Increases will stop once the total wine exported reaches 70,000hl a year.
The EU, meanwhile, will get to export 8,000hl to Croatia, rising by 800hl a year until a 12,000hl level is reached. The deal will also be reviewed by 2005.
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