HC Deb 17 June 1991 vol 193 cc56-7W
Mrs. Ray Michie

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he will estimate the tonnage of illegal Atlantic salmon in the EC market from Norway; how many prosecutions have taken place; what action is being taken to prevent further illegalities; and if he will make a statement;

(2) if he has any plans to meet representatives of the Norwegian Government to discuss the salmon industry; and if he will make a statement;

(3) what steps are being taken to monitor the impact of non-EC member countries exporting salmon to the EC market; and if he will make a statement;

(4) what plans he has to introduce a tariff on Norwegian salmon entering the EC market; and if he will make a statement;

(5) what steps have been taken to secure fair trading practices in the EC market regarding salmon; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Michael Forsyth

[holding answer 14 June 1991]: In March this year, the European Commission closed its investigation of an anti-dumping case raised by the Scottish and Irish salmon producers. It did so on the basis of certain assurances from the Norwegian authorities aimed at stabilising the market for farmed salmon, including continuation of the Norwegian programme for freezing surplus production and for more rigorous enforcement of Norwegian regulations on salmon sales. The Commission also agreed to put in place arrangements for monitoring more closely imports of salmon to the European Community.

Representatives of the Scottish Salmon Growers Association, with officials of the fisheries Departments, have since met the Commission to discuss allegations of breaches of these undertakings and the continued import of salmon at below the Norwegian buying-in price. The Scottish and Irish industries are collecting detailed evidence to support these claims, and officials of the fisheries Departments expect to discuss the implications with the Commission as soon as that evidence is submitted.

The Commission is also expected to announce shortly, after consultation with the industry and member states, its measures to improve the collection of information on salmon imports by customs authorites of member states. This should provide a firmer basis for monitoring the EC market for salmon. At present, it is not possible to estimate the amounts of Norwegian salmon entering the EC market at prices below those set by the Norwegian authorities for buying-in surplus production.

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