Europêche has asked the European Commission to launch an investigation into tuna processed loins – mainly skipjack – from China which it believes is causing serious economic damage to the European fishing industry.
Europêche has passed information to the EC disclosing the existence of unlawful aids and tax breaks allegedly granted by the Chinese administration to the Chinese exporters of both tuna loins and canned tuna.
“Given the strategic and highly competitive nature of the tuna market we urge the European Commission to initiate an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation with a view to impose as soon as possible countervailing measures against tuna exports to the EU,” said Javier Garat, president of Europêche.
Europêche is aware of an increasing volume of tuna loins flooding the EU market at low prices. These low prices are made possible by subsidies from the Chinese government to their producers and also by EU import tariff exemptions granted for 30,000-tonne tuna loins per year.
The European fishing sector is therefore urging the EU to eliminate any tariff exemptions granted to tuna loins, which mainly come from China, to reduce further market and economic disruption.
“It is not acceptable that countries which are linked to IUU fishing and serious labour abuses benefit from preferential market access; it should be rather the opposite,” said Mr Garat. “Autonomous tariff quotas for tuna loins at present are rewarding those who have turned a blind eye towards the sustainability of fish stocks and fair treatment of people.”