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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Trade in processed agricultural products

With a positive trade balance in excess of €30 billion per year, processed agricultural products (PAPs) are a very important EU export. They are subject to specific trade arrangements. The European Commission works to improve the environment for trade in PAPs by encouraging tariff liberalisation, the standardisation of rules and the mutual recognition of food legislation with non-EU countries.

Trade regime for PAPs

The Commission is responsible for the trade regime for processed agricultural products (PAPs) listed in Regulation (EU) No 510/2014.

Improving the trade environment

Tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade in food with non-EU countries have a negative impact on EU competitiveness. To gain barrier-free access to foreign markets, the Commission promotes:

  • multilateral agreements, mainly through the WTO (World Trade Organization) and the Codex Alimentarius;
  • bilateral agreements with non-EU countries which aim at the mutual recognition of sanitary and phytosanitary rules and food legislation in general;
  • international business dialogue and the funding of measures to promote agricultural and food products of EU origin.

PAPs in the EU

The EU is the world's largest exporter of food and drink products and its second largest importer.

An overview of EU trade in PAPs

Bilateral and multilateral agreements

The Commission participates in all bilateral trade negotiations for PAPs.

In the context of the Doha round negotiations, the Commission is working on the future Agreement on Agriculture, particularly on export competition and market access.

Bilateral and multilateral agreements