EU files complaint against Egypt over import tax on dairy and cheeses

The European Union has launched a complaints procedure against Egypt at the World Trade Organization (WTO). A few years ago, that country set new requirements for the import of agricultural and food products.

Not only are import duties imposed, but all kinds of forms have to be filled in as well. This applies to a range of goods such as milk, dairy, fruit juices and confectionery, but also to Gouda and Edam cheeses.

Since 2016, EU exports of such goods to Egypt have decreased by 40%. This fits in with a series of Egyptian trade measures to encourage their own local production. 

The EU's complaint is a first step in the WTO's dispute settlement process. If consultations do not lead to a solution, the EU can request the WTO to impose criminal sanctions and fines.

Recently, an Egyptian company in the field of Halal certification has become the only body that is allowed to grant the mandatory certification of exports. The certification deadline for the halal certificate has been postponed to February 28. 

Dutch cheese exporters will also have to deal with additional import duties on Edam and Gouda in units of up to 10 kg. This comes after an Egyptian investigation concluded that Dutch exporters were guilty of dumping. Although the Netherlands does not agree with these findings, the additional levies have now become a reality.