Buy Hoki: Ministers Welcome Decrease In Eu Fish Tariffs (08 Apr 99)
Food and Fibre Minister John Luxton today congratulated the fishing industry on meeting European needs in the Hoki market, while visiting Nelson, and announced a reduction in tariffs into the European Union for both Hoki and squid.
A reduction in tariffs for 20,000 tonnes of Hoki to be used by processors has been announced. The tariff is to be reduced from the normal rate of 7.5% to 3.5% duty for the balance of the year. The tariff quota for frozen squid tubes has increased to 11,000 tonnes at 3.5% duty, up from 9,000 tonnes at the same duty level in 1998. The normal tariff on squid exports to the EU is 8%.
Mr Luxton and Trade Minister Lockwood Smith both welcomed the new opportunities for fisheries exporters, made possible following a decision by the European Commission Fisheries Council to reduce tariffs across a range of fish species under its Autonomous Tariff Quota (ATQ) regime.
"This can only increase opportunities to market quality New Zealand fish products in the lucrative European market," the Ministers said.
"Hoki is already earning New Zealand nearly $300 million dollars. Of the $294 million Hoki earned last year, $88 million was from exports to European markets.
"The development of Hoki Loins is one of many steps taken by the fishing industry to meet European expectations. It is encouraging to see such innovation in the development of new products that are tailored specifically for the export market," Mr Luxton said.
It is expected that the Hoki fishery will reach new highs as a result of the exportation of Hoki Loins and other products to the European market.
"The quota is available on a first-come first-served basis and in 1998 was fully taken up by July. New Zealand is well-placed to take advantage of this new opportunity which we estimate to be worth around NZ$4 million dollars across the industry for Hoki alone," the Ministers said.
"This case provides a timely example of how trade liberalisation benefits all countries as we move toward a new WTO negotiating round in December 1999.
"Reduced tariffs on Hoki will improve the competitiveness of New Zealand exporters, while at the same time allowing European consumers the chance to enjoy more New Zealand seafood at reasonable prices," the Ministers concluded.