EU Grain Fed Quota Changes

The EU High Quality Beef 2 quota, generally referred to as the ‘grain-fed’ quota, allows the duty-free import of beef from animals that conform with a complex specification. Only 5 exporting countries can comply with the specification currently: USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Uruguay. The annual volume under this quota rises from 20’000 to 48’200 tonnes from August and the EU Commission has chosen this moment to change the method of the quota’s administration. Hitherto an importer applied for an import licence without any necessity to demonstrate that qualifying beef had been produced. Unscrupulous importers (yes, they do exist) made multiple applications without any intention of using the licence, creating a massive over-application allowing them to sell licences to genuine importers at euro 1.00/kg or more for doing absolutely nothing.

To solve this problem, but possibly to create others, the Commission will introduce a ‘First-come-first-served’ system whereby the importer simply submits the required shipping documents as the ship arrives (including the certificate which proves the specification has been met),  to customs who pass it free of duty for general EU circulation.

This change will now allow Weddel Swift to fully develop the market for this premium product.