This week, the Council of Ministers of Agriculture has decided that it will allow the tariff preferences of the Association Agreement between Morocco and the EU to be extended to Western Sahara, after approval in the European Parliament on January 16, 2019.
According to the Council, "the amendment of the Agreement complies with the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Communities of December 21, 2016, regarding the liberalization of agricultural (and other) products. This will facilitate the export of products from Western Sahara to the EU with trade preferences, therefore promoting the development of Western Sahara."
For FEPEX, this extension of the concessions to Western Sahara, which in fact were already being applied, will exacerbate the negative impact that Moroccan productions are having on the Spanish fruit and vegetable sector. Furthermore, the cooperation or safeguard measures foreseen in the Association Agreement between Morocco and the EU are not being applied.
Since the entry into force of the Association Agreement, the value of Spain's fresh fruit and vegetable imports from this country has grown by 312%, from 129,931,000 Euro in 2011 to 558,966,000 Euro in 2017, according to data from the Customs Department . For the whole of the EU, and in the same period, the value of Moroccan exports has grown by 102% totaling 1,661 million Euro in 2017.