Court of Auditors report on the EU export-refund scheme
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CTA. 2003. Court of Auditors report on the EU export-refund scheme. Agritrade, August 2003. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52490
The European Court of Auditors released a special report on July 7th 2003 on...
The European Court of Auditors released a special report on July 7th 2003 on the EU export-refund system. This sets out: how the system works; why it is needed; the current level of funding ( €3.5 billion). The principal question addressed in the report is whether the system operates in a 'sound and transparent way'. The report found that 'while the Commission had most of the information necessary it was not always complete or up to date. It found that the Commission did not always have the information necessary to calculate 'the difference between the EU and world market price quotations'. For example, in the beef sector the Commission stated that it was not able to monitor well enough to determine whether the subsidies exceeded the difference between EU and world market price quotations, while in the dairy sector the Commission's own analysis of skimmed milk powder and whole milk powder price quotations showed that the subsidy exceeded the difference in quotations for significant periods covered by the audit. Overall the Court of Auditors concluded that 'the way the Commission set refund rates was insufficiently clear', particularly for beef, milk products and to a lesser extent cereals. However, it acknowledged that the Commission was in the process of making a number of changes based on the Court's observations. Comment: Systematic over-compensation of EU traders through the export-refund scheme can only serve to distort competition, particularly where the EU is a major supplier to ACP markets (e.g. in dairy products to Africa). This is likely to be a matter of on-going concern.