Hey “sovereign” UK: Want to export food to the EU next year? Better learn about tariff quotas fast!

On 12 June 2020, the EU has published two implementing regulations on the EU management system of tariff quotas. Any third-country wishing to trade certain food products with the EU must take note.

Who? The European Commission's Directorate-General responsible for Agriculture and Rural Development

When? 12 June 2020

Document: EU Implementing Regulations


What happened?

On 12 June 2020, the EU has published two implementing regulations on 12 June 2020 on the EU management system of tariff quotas.

  1. The first one concerns tariff quota management with licences.

  2. The second deals with the rules for the administration of import and export tariff quotas subject to licences.

Why does it matter?

  • Tariff quotas are an exception to normal trading since they permit, over a certain time and for a limited quantity, the total (total suspension) or partial waiver (partial suspension) of the normal duties applicable to imported goods.

  • Tariff quotas can be allowed based on preferential (as per trade agreements that the European Union has concluded with third countries/territories) or can be granted independently to stimulate competition by low tariffs and, in this way, the economic activity of the EU’s industries, improving competitive capacity, creating employment, modernizing structures etc.

  • Some tariff quotas for a certain agricultural product are managed through a system of import licences.

  • Various Council and Commission Regulations contain the specific provisions for the management of these tariff quotas.

  • Most tariff quotas are managed on a 'first-come-first-served' basis irrespective of where the goods are imported into the EU.

  • Information about the current balances of those tariff quotas which are managed on a first-come-first-served basis is available on-line.

What can I do?

  1. First, evaluate if your products are subject to tariff quotas.

  2. Check out the legislation concerned, by clicking on the links provided, to see if you are in the scope of the change that occurred this time.

  3. If so, read the legislation and understand where the online databases are so can identify the type of tariff applicable and how it is managed.

  4. Get training on how to manage the EU Quota system.

  5. Download our Technical Explainer Briefing on Quota's to get started.

Expert to Contact

Arne Mielken


More Information for Advanced or Pro Subscribers

  1. Access the EU Quota Legislation 1

  2. Access the EU Quota Legislation 2

  3. Download our Technical Explainer Briefing

ADVERTISEMENT - Essential Customs Training including Tariff Quota Management


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