A new law from Brussels against Israel
Brussels has decided that products imported from “the occupied Palestinian territories” must be traceable.
This decree has slipped under the media radar, but it’s an official decision: products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank will henceforth be labelled separately from Israeli products from the so-called 1967 “borders” (before the Six-Day War).
Brussels is responsible for international trade and would like to see more effective and transparent traceability for products from these territories. The decision applies to the entire West Bank and the Golan Heights. The European Union has thus put an end to twenty years of talks and postponements on this subject, following a campaign led by various European NGOs, notably within the framework of the European Citizens’ Initiative. Entitled “Ensuring the conformity of the common commercial policy with the European Union treaties and the respect of international law”, this initiative collected more than 277,000 signatures within the Union.
This official decree was published on May 16, 2023, on the European Commission website, and is entitled “New code Y864 for goods imported into the EU with preferential origin from Israel from May 16, 2023”. It stipulates that from May 16, 2023, importers and economic operators involved in importing products originating in Israel into the European Union must declare the new code Y864 in box 44 of the import declaration, in addition to the proof-of-origin code, in order to benefit from the preferential tariff and quotas of the EU-Israel Association Agreement.
“This new code indicates that the proof of origin held by the operator does not refer to a place that cannot benefit from the tariff reductions or preferential quotas set out in the EU-Israel Association Agreement, and enables EU member states to collect statistics on trade with Israeli settlements located in territories under Israeli administration since June 1967. If code Y864 is not included in the import declaration, preferential tariff treatment will be refused.”
The Commission states that “this measure does not reflect any change in policy, but has been taken to help facilitate the tasks of declarants in implementing the EU-Israel Association Agreement and the 2004 technical arrangement on rules of origin”.
The question on everyone’s mind is: “Why doesn’t Brussels take similar decisions against France, imposing special labelling on fruit from Corsica, “which is an occupied territory”, and against the UK, imposing special labelling on products from Gibraltar and the Falklands?
Against Turkey on products from the “occupied” part of Cyprus, and we can name many others around the world.
But Brussels prefers to focus continually on Israel. It’s surprising because, after the Qatari corruption scandal involving European politicians, we would later discover corruption cases to condemn Israel.