Answer to Written Question: Increase in exports to the EU of fisheries products from Western Sahara in 2019
(Source: European Parliament)
Answer given by Mr Sinkevičius
on behalf of the European Commission
The Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and the Kingdom of Morocco, as amended in 2019, has enhanced the economic relationship and allowed for an increase in the exports of fishery products. Thus, with the entry into force of the amendment, exports originating in the Western Sahara enjoy preferential trade tariffs to the EU market.
Protocol number 4 of the Agreement, concerning the definition of originating products and methods of administrative cooperation, and its article 6, detail what wholly obtained products are. While an increase in exports reflects an increase in production, direct and indirect employment and investment, it does not necessarily imply an increase in catches.
The fishing activities of EU vessels and catch limits are regulated by the Sustainable Fisheries Agreement between the EU and the Kingdom of Morocco. Thus the fishing activities of EU vessels do not have a relation with fish product exports to the EU.