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Citrus and citrus juices

Main policy areas


Tariff quota administration

  • TRQs are applied by some countries such as Rep. of Korea and by the EC; In-quota tariffs vary significantly (10 percent in the EC, 40 percent in Korea). Fill rates are generally close to 100 percent due to the small sizes of the TRQs. Out-of-quota tariffs can be very high (144 percent in Rep. of Korea);
  • Restrictive or insufficiently transparent administration methods exist in some countries; for example, the Republic of Korea gives preferential allocation to citrus growing co-operatives and uses a non transparent bidding system for quotas.


  • Tariffs on fresh citrus applied by developed countries vary considerably, ranging from 0 (Canada) to 36 percent (Japan). They frequently include seasonal elements that can double tariffs when domestic product is on the market. However, tariffs tend to be low during Southern Hemisphere harvest season;
  • Tariff escalation is a serious problem in many countries and in many cases, tariffs on processed products are prohibitive (e.g. 63 percent on Brazilian FCOJ in the United States). Producing country import policies generally aim at enabling the sector to fully develop its production and processing potential;
  • Specific and complex duties are commonly applied that reduce comparability of tariffs over time and across countries; convergence to simple ad valorem tariffs should have positive impact on transparency;
  • “cocktail approach” or reductions from applied rates likely to have the strongest impact on the sector;
  • Developing countries could benefit from improved market access for processed products, particularly for juices, frozen concentrated or not from concentrate; Preferential access for smaller suppliers among developing countries could also help many smaller suppliers compete.

Domestic support

  • Some developing and developed country producers/exporters criticise trade distorting domestic support in developed countries where (relatively high-cost) production and exports expanded aided by support;
  • Processing subsidies to EC citrus producers is a clear form of distortion as it allows them to keep average costs down by processing fruit that cannot be sold due to its quality, an advantage not available to developing countries;
  • EC support to domestic producers for promotion of citrus is seen as a distortion and indirect subsidy;
  • Support provided in developing countries is traditionally low (due to general liberalisation reforms, financial restraints etc.) and not affected by reduction commitments.

Export subsidies

  • Direct export subsidies/refunds are a basic and significant element in EC policy in the sector;
  • Indirect forms of export subsidy used in a number of countries (developed and developing; systematically and ad hoc): insurance and guarantee programmes; export credit (especially in the United States);
  • Difficulties in net food-importing developing countries as a result of elimination of export subsidies is not considered a problem, as most subsidies are directed at markets in transition or to other developed markets.

Environmental measures

  • Sustainable modes of production have emerged and some citrus farms are being certified under voluntary programmes run by NGOs (e.g. eco-labelling, fair trade, and organic agriculture).

Food safety

  • Significant issues: contamination, toxic residues from post harvest treatments and traceability.

Rural development

  • Citrus sales and exports generate income for smallholders and plantation workers in rural areas of many developing countries; they provide many direct and indirect jobs.

Geographical indications

  • Trend in the EC to use them for some citrus production areas (e.g. in Spain and Italy for lemons).

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