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Thailand And EU: 50% Duty Reduction Now An Option Spain, October 2, 13

Recent negotiations between Thailand and the European Union are thought to have resulted in the Thai tuna industry lowering its expectations for tariff elimination of canned tuna exported to the EU. According to Juan Manual Vieites, Secretary General of the Spanish seafood canning association, Anfaco-Cecopesca, Thailand is more likely to receive a 50 percent duty reduction, instead of a 100% cut on the current 24% tariff on canned tuna.
Vieites referred to the results of the second round of negotiations between the EU and Thailand to create a free trade agreement on Thai canned tuna, as it being a threat to the interests of the Spanish canning community. Spain is the largest exporting nation of canned tuna to the European market and Thailand is the largest producing and exporting country of canned tuna in the world.
Thailand is currently subject to 24 percent duty on its exports to the EU. According to Vieites, efforts will now be made to slash this by half to 12 percent. In 2012, the EU imported over 5 million cartons of canned tuna from Thailand, making it the fourth largest exporting nation to the European Union.
The EU Agriculture Minister, Miguel Arias Canete, informed Vieites that the rules of origin will form part of the agreement. If the duty reduction is granted for Thailand, it will only be applicable to tuna caught by Thai flagged vessels. The majority of canned tuna processed and exported from Thailand is caught by Taiwanese flagged ships.
Vietes said that the lowered expectations of the Thai industry will be the subject of discussion in the occasion of a third round of negotiations between the Asian country and the European Union.