Producers in eight EU countries facing €409m milk quota fines


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Producers in eight EU countries facing €409m milk quota fines

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Eight European Union (EU) Member States look set to pay penalties totaling nearly €409m (US$517m) for exceeding their milk quotas. 

Provisional data released by the European Commission (EC) late last week suggests that eight of the EU's 28 Member States will face a fine for overshooting their milk quotas in the year ended March 31 2014 by more than 1.47m tonnes.

The EU milk quota system was introduced in 1984 to address over production.

Each of the current 28 EU Member States has two quotas - one for deliveries to processors and the other for direct sales at farm level. 

If an individual Member State exceeds its quotas, a fine, or superlevy, of €27.83 (US$35.18) per 100kg. This penalty is divided between milk producers in proportion to their contribution to the overrun.

The EU milk quota system is, however, scheduled to be abolished on April 1 2015.

Germany, the 2013/14 season's biggest offender, overshot its deliveries quota by 588,826 tonnes and faces a fine of around €163.87m (US$207.2m).

The Netherlands meanwhile faces a fine of around €132.12m (US$167m) for exceeding its deliveries quota by 474,737 tonnes, and an additional €918,000 (US$1.16m) superlevy for overrunning its direct sales quota by 3,297 tonnes.

Poland (€46.5m, US$58.7m), Denmark (€28.2m, US$35.6m), Austria (€25.6m, US$32.3m), Ireland (€10.03m, US$12.7m), Cyprus (€1.57m, US$2m), Luxembourg (€825,000, US$1.04m) also look set to pay the price for exceeding deliveries quotas.

The remaining 20 EU Member States managed to stay within their quotas.

Of these, 14 were more than 10% below their delivery quotas, including the UK (10.6%), Sweden (21.4%), Finland (12.8%), and Belgium (53.9%).

On the whole total EU milk deliveries were 4.6% below total quota volumes.

In the 2012/13 season, just €45.17m (US$57m) in fines were issued to producers in Austria, Germany, Denmark, Poland, and Cyprus, for exceeding their quotas.

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