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New Zealand Butter

Volume 450: debated on Monday 23 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs When he expects the issue of import licences for New Zealand butter to be resumed; and what representations he has made about this. (94245)

On 1 October, Commission Regulation (EC) No 1452/2006 lifted the temporary suspension on issuing import licences for New Zealand butter that was imposed after the recent European Court of Justice ruling. The Regulation allows for the remaining 14,294.6 tonnes of butter from the 2006 quota to be imported before 31 December under a modified procedure.

In the meantime, discussions between the Commission and New Zealand, and the Commission and member states, on the changes necessary to the administration of the 2007 quota year and beyond will continue.

We are working closely with the Commission, other member states and New Zealand to ensure that the disruptions to trade are minimal and that a new system for the administration of the New Zealand butter quota can be implemented quickly and smoothly.