The EU dairy sector is the second biggest agricultural sector in the EU, representing more than 12 % of total agricultural output. While milk is produced in all Member States, farm and herd sizes, yields and types of farming vary widely across Europe, from free-range farming in Alpine areas to large specialised dairy farms in the north-west and centre of Europe. In 2016, 157 million tonnes of milk were delivered to dairies, where raw milk is processed into fresh products such as cheese or butter.
Regarding the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, tariffs currently applied to hard cheeses (up to 29.8%) will gradually be phased out to become zero for unlimited quantities as from 1 April 2033. A 20.000 t tariff quota, with growth factor, will allow for duty free access as from 1 April 2033 for fresh cheeses, such as mozzarella, processed cheeses, blue veined cheeses, and soft cheeses, such as Feta and camembert. Moreover, skimmed milk powder for feeding will have tariffs reduced by 95%, and tariffs on whey products will be reduced by 70%. Finally, a common TRQ for butter and SMP of 15.000 t (in milk equivalent) will offer a gradual tariff reduction over a period of 11 years.
The complete text of the EPA, and Annexes, incorporating the Articles on Dairy Products, can be found on the following website of the European Commission: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1684
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