The European Commission has said that the EU and Israel have initialled an agreement to liberalise trade in the agricultural sector.

On the basis of the outcome of the negotiations, most of the agricultural trade from both sides will be liberalised (preferential treatment with or without quotas). Before entering into force, the deal has to be adopted by the EU member states.

Israel has agreed to further liberalise its agricultural imports from the EU, by increasing existing quotas and by reducing current preferential duties to zero. Liberalisation will cover, among others, the following products: bovine animals, meat, dairy products (milk, cheese, whey and butter), onions and garlic, prepared and dried vegetables, apples, pears, rice, sugar, prepared fruit and juices, oils, preparations for animal food, vinegar and wine.

The EU has granted Israel further concessions for products such as fresh fruit (melons and grapes), fresh and processed vegetables (tomatoes and processed tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, salads, dried vegetables), processed citrus fruit, juices, turkey and turkey preparations, wine. Israel agreed to reduce by half its quota for preferential exports of orange juice to the EU, on the basis of the current trend in Israeli export capacity.

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