To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the import of (a) fresh fruit, (b) vegetables and (c) dairy products, from Israel, whether HMRC accepts Israeli certificates of conformity with marketing standards (i) where the place of origin is within the internationally recognised borders of Israel and (ii) where goods originate from settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
22 June 2020
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs take steps to exclude the possibility that goods of West Bank origin enter the United Kingdom incorrectly described as being Israeli. This is to prevent them benefitting from preferential tariffs in accordance with the terms of EU-Israel Association Agreement and the technical arrangements which flow from this.
EU rules do not allow the authorities in any exporting third country (such as the State of Israel) to issue valid certificates of conformity with EU marketing standards for fruit and vegetables originating outside that third country. This includes territories under Israeli administration since June 1967, for example, the West Bank. The situation referred to by the hon. Member in respect of imports originating in Israeli settlements on the West Bank cannot, therefore, arise.
EU rules allow third countries to issue a certificate of conformity, confirming compliance with marketing standards. However, that does not mean that every import consignment will be accompanied by such a document. Importers can also apply for a certificate directly from an EU Member State’s authority.
For dairy products, certificates of conformity with marketing standards are not required regardless of the origin of imports. The EU marketing standards legislation will form part of UK statute and will continue to apply in the UK after the transition period.