TRADE AND MARKET I NG Colombian fry duties are latest sign of trade tension on a World trade Organisation basis that includes the need for customs checks and the imposition of tariffs. That could impact fry processors severely as there is a 14.4% tariff on frozen fries. UK import figures show that 606 361 tonnes of fries worth $582 million were imported into the UK in the year ending August 2018. All but US$405 000 of that total was from the EU, so a 14.4% tariff would add US$83.7 million to the cost of EU fry exports. That might be an underestimate as Dutch and Belgian customs figures show that fry exports to the UK are more than 700 000 tonnes from those two destinations alone, although they do supply the UK with more than 90% of its imported fries, whichever figures you use. Not only would tariffs cost fry exporters to the UK more, it would also add to bureaucracy as each shipment would need a customs declaration and could be checked. There are more than 20 000 truck movements of frozen fries from the EU to UK a year. Other frozen potato products have a 17.6% tariff, non-frozen potato products a 14.1% tariff, fresh ware potatoes a 11.5% tariff and seed potatoes a 4.5% tariff. The global potato industry has benefitted from relatively free trade in products, anything that hinders that trade will concern growers, processors and traders in all part of the world. ● Cedric Porter is the editor of World Potato Markets, an essential weekly price, production and trade briefing for potato professionals. See www.world potatomarket.com call him on +44 1892 543444 or email him at cedric.porter@agrimarkets.net The global potato industry has benefitted from relatively free trade in products, anything that hinders that trade will concern growers, processors and traders in all part of the world. there is no-deal between the EU and UK as it seeks to leave the European Union. A UK withdrawal agreement was done between both sides, which would mean few immediate changes to current arrangements where goods can move freely without duties or customs checks until at least December 2020. But that deal has not been welcomed by the UK Parliament who could reject it. If no deal is agreed, then there is the possibility that the UK could fall out of the EU and trade would have to be done Potato World 2018 • number 4 39 Pagina 38

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