The European Commission has proposed an enlargement of EU banana import quotas to ensure a sufficient supply for new EU member states.

The new regulation would fix an additional quantity of bananas of 300,000 tonnes to supply the market of new member states for the period May-December 2004. This additional quantity would provide the ten new member states, which are to join the EU at the beginning of May, with a sufficient supply of bananas. The regulation also defines the necessary transitional measures for managing the additional quantity as of 1 May 2004 in the enlarged EU, the Commission said.

“The EU will fully respect its obligations and commitments. It will safeguard the interests of EU producers. The preferential access for producers from African, Caribbean and Pacific countries will be maintained and all WTO commitments entirely honoured,” the Commission added.