European Union - Agricultural SectorEuropean Union - Agricultural Sector
Despite frequent disputes, bilateral agricultural trade between the United States and the EU-28 totaled $38.1 billion in 2015. The EU is the fourth largest export market for U.S. agricultural products after Canada, China, and Mexico. For the fourteenth year in a row, the trade balance in agricultural, forestry, and fishery goods continued in the EU’s favor ($25.1 billion vs. $12.9 billion). U.S. imports from the EU included wine and beer, essential oils, cheese, snack foods, and processed fruits and vegetables.
The main U.S. products exported to the EU by value were tree nuts, soybeans, prepared and processed foods, and wine and beer. Forest product exports also continue to increase. Increases were further seen in U.S. exports of tree nuts, prepared foods, fresh vegetables, distilled spirits, and wine and beer. Tree nuts exports increased another 7 percent in 2015, an increase of almost 42 percent since 2012.
Global branding and further integration of European markets is continuing to produce a more homogeneous food and drink market in Europe although significant national differences in consumption remain. Nevertheless, certain common trends are evident throughout the EU: demand for greater convenience, more openness to non-traditional foods, and a growing interest in health foods, organics and niche markets. For a thorough analysis of what commodities and products offer the best opportunities, access www.usda-eu.org and consult Brussels’ and the individual member states’ Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards (FAIRS) Reports at http://www.usda-eu.org/trade-with-the-eu/eu-import-rules/fairs-reports.
Phytosanitary Certificates: Phytosanitary certificates are required for most fresh fruits, vegetables, and other plant materials.
Sanitary Certificates: For commodities composed of animal products or by-products, EU countries require that shipments be accompanied by a certificate issued by the competent authority of the exporting country. This applies regardless of whether the product is for human consumption, for pharmaceutical use, or strictly for non-human use (e.g., veterinary biologicals, animal feeds, fertilizers, research). The vast majority of these certificates are uniform throughout the EU but the harmonization process is still ongoing. Most recently, certificates for a series of highly process products including chondroitin sulphate, hyaluronic acid, hydrolyzed cartilage products, chitosan, glucosamine, rennet, isinglass and amino acids are being harmonized. Until harmonization is finalized, certain member state import requirements continue to apply. In addition to the legally required EU health certificates, a number of other certificates are used in international trade. These certificates, which may also be harmonized in EU legislation, certify origin for customs purposes and certain quality attributes. Up-to-date information on harmonized import requirements can be found at the following website: http://www.usda-eu.org/trade-with-the-eu/eu-import-rules/certification/fairs-export-certificate-report/.
The establishment of harmonized EU rules and standards in the food sector has been ongoing for several decades, but it took until January 2002 for the publication of a general food law establishing the general principles of EU food law. This Regulation introduced mandatory traceability throughout the feed and food chain as of Jan 1, 2005. For specific information on agricultural standards, please refer to the Foreign Agricultural Service’s website at: http://www.usda-eu.org.
There are also export guides to import regulations and standards available on the Foreign Agricultural Service’s website: http://www.usda-eu.org/trade-with-the-eu/eu-import-rules/certification/fairs-export-certificate-report/
European Union 28 Agribusiness Trade Development and Promotion