Latvia, EU to discuss pork issue

  • 1999-06-17
RIGA (BNS) – Latvia and the European Commission will continue consultations about the extra duty on imported pork products imposed by Latvia June 15.
As of June 1, Latvia introduced an additional 70 percent tax on pork imports for a period of 200 days until December 17. It was a temporary measure aimed at protecting the local market.
According to Latvia's association agreement with the European Union, customs taxes can only be raised upon mutual agreement. Latvia has started negotiations with the EU since a considerable amount of pork imported into Latvia comes from EU member states.
The first round of consultations with EU representatives about this move took place May 26 in Brussels. The EU experts requested additional information and it was decided to continue the talks at some later time.
Latvian neighbors Estonia and Lithuania responded to the increased customs tax by handing over notes of protest. They even threatened to take countermeasures against Latvia.
The talks with Estonia and Lithuanian within the joint committee of the Baltic Free Trade Agreement produced no results. Latvian neighbors insist that the extra customs tax constitutes an infringement under the Baltic Free Trade Agreement.
The Latvian representatives claim that they are protecting the internal market according to the standard provisions of the World Trade Organization.