EU Bans Imports of Israeli Poultry

Written by | Friday, May 23rd, 2014

The European Union prohibited imports of poultry and eggs from the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. The block of 28 countries informed the Israeli agriculture ministry that it had recognized its veterinary supervision only within the Jewish state corresponding with the borders prior to the Six Day War in 1967, which de facto rendered settlement poultry produce incompatible with the EU’s public health regulations for import. An official in Tel Aviv commented that the new ruling came “in the spirit” of guidelines which were issued by Brussels in January this year when the EU prohibited dealings with companies based in the Jewish settlements. The EU added that the settlements were illegal under international law and their continued expansion in spite of the US and EU criticism was a major factor contributing to the collapse of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.
The agriculture ministry said that “this issue, like many other issues that came up in the framework of trade relations between the European Union and Israel, will be addressed within the framework of the ongoing professional dialogue between the parties. Moreover, it should be noted that ”poultry and poultry-related products from the settlements account for under five percent of all such products in Israel, so the new European guidelines would not have much practical impact from an economic point of view.”
Currently, Israel is an important trading partner for the EU in the Mediterranean region whereas the EU is Israel’s number one trading partner with total trade having amounted to approximately 33 billion euro in 2012. EU28 imports from Israel mostly chemicals, transport equipment, machinery, mining products, and fuels. The club’s exports are by contrast dominated by chemicals, transport equipment, semi-manufacturers, and machinery. The negotiations to open up additional agricultural deals between both countries finished in 2008 and have been operational since 2010.

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