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Five Member States exceeded their milk quota

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Five Member States – Austria, Germany, Denmark, Poland and Cyprus, – exceeded their milk quotas for deliveries in 2012/2013, and must therefore pay penalties (“superlevy”) totalling roughly € 46 million. Despite the overrun of the quotas in these Member States, total EU deliveries remained well below (-6.0%) the total quota volumes, compared with -4.7% in 2011/12. In addition, the Netherlands overshot its direct sales quota by 1 100t (1.4%) and faces a levy of €301 000.

According to national declarations for the year ending March 31, 2013, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Poland and Cyprus exceeded their national quotas by a total of 163 700 tons, despite the 1% quota increase in the year 2012/2013 decided in the framework of the 2008 CAP Health Check. The number of Member States exceeding their quotas remains limited and the concerned surplus production accounts for 0.1% of all milk delivered or covered by direct sales (0.2% in the previous milk quota year). Some 22 Member States remained under quota, of which 13 at more than 10% below their delivery quota.

The dairy quota regime will be abolished on 1 April 2015, and to facilitate a smooth transition the 2008 CAP Health Check agreed that there should be a gradual increase in quotas (+1% every year) until quota year 2013/14. The Commission will present a report by mid-2014 on the state of the market, including a close look at how Member States are implementing the 2012 milk package (see http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/milk/milk-package/index_en.htm), with proposals for changes if deemed necessary. Last week the Commission organised a stakeholder Conference on the dairy sector after 2015 – see http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/events/dairy-conference-2013_en.htm. A report with conclusions from this conference will be discussed in the EP Agriculture Committee and by Ministers in Council before the end of the year, and this debate will feed into the preparation of this Commission report.

How the system works?

The dairy quota system was introduced in the 1980s in order to address problems of surplus production. Each Member State has two quotas, one for deliveries to dairies (97.6% of EU total), and the other one for direct sales at farm level (2.4%). These quantities are distributed among producers (individual quotas) in each Member State. Where a Member State exceeds its national quota, a surplus levy (often called “superlevy”) of € 27.83 per 100kg is payable in the Member State concerned, paid by the producers in proportion to their contribution to the overrun during the quota year (1 April – 31 March). These figures are established after a redistribution of non-used quota of other producers.

Source: European Commission

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