Select Committee on European Communities Third Report


APPENDIX 5

LIST OF COMITOLOGY COMMITTEES AND THEIR ACTIVITIES IN 1997

MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FOOD
Name of CommitteeLegal Basis TypeActivities in 1997
Standing Committee for Veterinary Medicinal Products Directive 81/951IIIb The Committee met on 3 occasions in 1997, all of which were concerned primarily with voting on draft regulations which proposed amendments to the annexes of Council Regulation 2377/90 under which maximum residue limits are established.
Standing Committee on FoodstuffsCouncil Decision 69/414 IIIa and bMet 8 times in 1997. Its activities included:
—amending Community legislation on baby foods, food additives' purity criteria, basic rules for testing migration from plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with foodstuffs;
—introducing further Community legislation (to require compulsory labelling of foods containing genetically modified soya or maize) to consider applications under the EC novel food regulation;
—agreeing the inventory and distribution of tasks to be undertaken within the framework of co-operation by Member States in the scientific examination of questions relating to food;
—discussing general and interpretational issues relating to the labelling and composition of food, food contamination, food additives, controls on the quality of foodstuffs imported to the EU, and the simplification of hygiene legislation;
—considering new national legislation proposed by Member States to ensure no conflict with existing Community legislation (eg Dutch notifications on mayonnaise and fortification of spreadable fats, Irish notification on additional warning labelling on fruit drinks containing alcohol ("alcopops")).
Management Committee on Horizontal Questions concerning trade in processed agricultural products not listed in Annex II (Non-Annex II Management Committee) Regulation 3448/93IIa Met 8 times in 1997. These meetings involved discussions of Third Country trade arrangements, review of Non Annex II budget situation, consideration of Commission Regulations 1222/94 and 1228/94 regarding payment of export refunds for Non Annex II goods.
Community Committee on the Farm Accountancy Data Network (Committee for the Farm Accountancy Data Network) Regulation 79/65IIa Met 3 times in 1997. Votes taken on:
—Amendment to Council Regulation 79/65 to tighten up rules on disclosure
—Amending the level of the standard fee payable to Member States for supplying 1998 accounts.
Other actions
—Response to Court of Auditors on interpretation of Regulation concerning payment of fees
—Proposals to introduce a new Farm Return (the definition and format of accounts data transmitted to the Commission)
—Analysis of impact of Agenda 2000 proposals on farm businesses.

Contribution to "Agricultural Situation" report, including income forecasts for 1997/98.
Implementation Committee for Spirit Drinks (Spirit Drinks Implementation Committee) Regulation 1576/89Does not fit neatly into any category laid down in 1987 Decision The Committee met 6 times in 1997:
—discussion of proposed Commission Regulation on methods of analysis for spirit drinks;
—favourable vote on amendment to Commission Regulation 1014/90 (laying down detailed implementing rules on the definition, description and presentation of spirit drinks) to revise the permitted levels of methanol in certain fruit spirits produced in Austria;
—discussion of possible amendment to Regulation 1014/90 to include a definition of "Bier Brand" or "eaux de vie de biere".
Implementation Committee on aromatized wine-based drinks (Aromatized Wine Implementation Committee) Regulation 1601/91Does not fit neatly into any category laid down in 1987 Decision The Committee met 4 times in 1997:
—an examination of a working document on possible Community oenological practices for aromatized wine;
—at the UK's instigation, a technical discussion on how the required 75 per cent wine content of aromatized wine can be checked;
—whether a product known as "Zurra" can be marketed in sparkling wine type bottles.
Committee on Organic Production of Agricultural products and indications referring thereto on agricultural products and foodstuffs Regulation 2092/91IIIa In 1997, there were 9 main meetings of the Group, supplemented by 5 expert group meetings. Discussions ranged over a wide variety of policy and technical issues in relation to the implementation of the Council Regulation. Of particular importance to the UK was discussion on new requirements for the production of organic mushrooms, proposed tightening of the rules relating to imports from Third Countries, and implementation of the requirements of Standard EN 45011.
Committee on theConservation, Characterization, Collection and Utilization of Genetic Resources in Agriculture Regulation 1467/94IIa Met 3 times in 1997.
—Delivered its opinion on the Report by the Commission to the Council and European Parliament on the measures undertaken by the Regulation.
—Preparation of an EU position on animal genetic resources for food and agriculture in the context of the Intergovernmental Technical Group of the Food and Agricultural Organisation.

Development and implementation of accompanying measures under Regulation 1467/94, including a second meeting of non governmental organisations.
Committee on Certificates of Specific Character for Agricultural Products and Foodstuffs Regulation 2082/92IIIa Met once in 1997 to discuss
—applications for registration
—the implementation of Council Regulations.
Committee on the Protection of Geographical Indications and Designations of Origin for Agricultural Products and Foodstuffs Regulation 2081/92IIIa Met 6 times in 1997 to
—vote on "fast track" applications to register products.
—discuss the design for a logo; and to
—discuss the implementation of requirements on inspection procedures.
European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund Committee (and working party on irregularities) (The Committee for the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund) Regulation 17/64IIa Met monthly in 1997 to
—consult on monthly `advances' paid to Member States from the Guarantee section, as reimbursements for Common Agricultural Policy expenditure from 1997 budget;
—Monitor expenditure under the 1997 EAGGF Guarantee budget (including consultation on early warning reports and financial impact of management committee developments);
—Consult, and in certain circumstances to vote, on EAGGF budget transfers;
—Consult on the 1998 Preliminary Draft Budget (including rectifying letter to the draft budget);
—Consult on Draft report on expenditure from the Fund in 1996;
—Consult on the clearance of 1993 EAGGF accounts;
—Consult on the clearance of 1996 EAGGF accounts;
—Vote on calculating costs of financing intervention measures;
—Vote on co-financing for control measures under Regulation 723/97;
—Vote on Cattle Identification and Registration (Integrated Administration Control System related measure);
—Consult on deductions for late payments of EAGGF funds made by Member States during 1997;
—Consultation on guidelines for disallowance of EAGGF expenditure;
—Consult on suspension of advances for late submission of annual accounts;
—Consult on membership of conciliation body (for disputed disallowance issues);
—Consult on accounting procedures for recoveries of funds;
—Consult on budget nomenclature;
—Consult on in-year expenditure on accompanying measures;
—Discuss the impact of the introduction of the Euro.
Standing Committee on Organic Farming (Standing Committee on Organic Standards) Regulation 2092/91IIIa In 1997, there were 9 main meetings of the Group, supplemented by 5 expert group meetings. Discussions ranged over a wide variety of policy and technical issues in relation to the implementation of the Council Regulation. Of particular importance to the UK was discussion on new requirements for the production of organic mushrooms, proposed tightening of the rules relating to imports from Third Countries, and implementation of the requirements of Standard EN 45011.
Standing Committee on Agricultural Research (SCAR) Regulation 1728/74IIa Met twice in 1997 to provide an opportunity for Member States to consider agricultural research priorities in the EU and to exchange information on national research programmes.
Standing Committee on Feedingstuffs (Standing Committee on Animal Feedingstuffs) Decision 70/372Variation on II Met 12 times in 1997 to discuss:
—Commission Decisions amending a list of banned ingredients in compound feeds and introducing labelling statements to reflect EU Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy—related measures.
—Commission Directive amending the list of authorised additives in animal feedingstuffs.
—Discussion of national bans on certain antibiotic feed additives.
—Protocol for surveillance of antimicrobial resistance to certain feed additives.
—Discussion of the evaluation process for enzymes and micro-organisms used in animal feeding stuffs.
Standing Committee on Seeds and Propagating Material for Agriculture, Horticulture and Forestry Directives
66/399; 92/33
IIa; IIIa Met 11 times in 1997 to discuss policy, legal, administrative and a wide variety of technical issues. On two occasions, the Committee met jointly with the Standing Committee on Plant Health.

Agreed a draft protocol for trials of garlic.
Standing Committee on Propagating Material and Plants of Fruit Genera and Species Directive 92/34IIa/IIIa Met once in 1997 and twice jointly with the Seeds Committee.

Agreed draft protocols for trials of berries, strawberries, and discussed a possible EC certification scheme for fruit plant material.
Standing Committee on Propagating Material and Ornamental Plants Directive 91/682IIa/IIIa Met once in 1997 and once jointly with the Fruit Genera Committee.

Agreed draft protocols for trials of carnations and perlargoniums.
Standing Committee on Plant Healthi) Plant Health Decision 76/894111a, b Met 12 times in 1997 . Discussions centred on
—transferring certain organisms from the Plant Health Directive 77/93, to other Directives dealing with the marketing of plant material
—A number of changes to the Annexes to 77/93 agreed, notably on bonsai and tobacco whitefly
—An amendment to 77/93 lifting a ban on imports of ware potatoes from Algeria
—Adoption of new rules allowing imports of citrus fruits from Third Countries
—Emergency measures against imports of Thai orchids due to palm thrips and against imports of Egyptian potatoes due to problems with brown rot
—Introduction of emergency controls within the Community to deal with outbreaks of brown rot and leaf minor in the Netherlands
—Derogation's agreed to allow imports of : strawberry plants from South Africa and Argentina—vines from Croatia and Switzerland—ware potatoes from New Zealand and Slovenia—seed potatoes from Canada.
ii) Pesticides Authorisationsiii) Residues IIIa

IIIb
Met 6 times in 1997
—Under Directive 91/414, the Committee gave favourable opinions on draft decisions relating to: the completeness of dossiers supporting 14 active substances; the withdrawal of authorisations for two active substances; and the Annex I listing of one active substance. The Committee also discussed proposals to add charging provisions to the Directive and to amend the data requirements and models relating to toxicology and to environmental fate and behaviour.
—Under maximum residue levels legislation, the Committee adopted one Directive to amend the annexes to the 1986 and 1990 Directives so as to extend cut-off dates for temporary trading arrangements known as `open positions'. The Committee was also consulted on the Commission's recommended programme for harmonised pesticide residues monitoring by Member States for 1998.
Standing Veterinary CommitteeDecision 68/361 IIIa, bMet at least once or twice a month in 1997 to discuss Third Country lists of establishments from which Member States may import animal and fishery products; specific disease control measures. Discussions mainly centred on
—Disease control and surveillance measures on Classical swine fever in Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Austria and Belgium
—Measures on Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy in Ireland and France and Specified Risk Material (the Committee failed to reach a Qualified Majority and the matter was referred to Council).
Standing Committee on ZootechnicsDecision 77/505 IIIaNo meetings held during 1997.
Management Committee of the Common Organization of Agricultural Market for: Pigmeat (Pigmeat Management Committee Regulation 2759/75IIa Met 11 times in 1997 to review the situation of the market. Responsible for the management of:
(a) export refunds (inc. General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) compliance);
(b) market support measures;
(c) import quotas at reduced tariffs (inc. GATT compliance);
(d) access problems with third countries;
(e) arrangements for pig carcass grading;
(f) aid measures for remote regions of the European Union;
(g) arrangements for African, Caribbean and Pacific/Overseas Countries and Territories.
Management Committee of the Common Organisation of Agricultural Market for: Poultrymeat and eggs (Eggs and Poultry Management Committee) Regulations 2771/75, 2777/75IIa Met 12 times in 1997 to
—revise the egg special marketing term production criteria eg free range
—amend Council Regulations relating to the definition of capons and foie gras and the free range criteria for Guinea fowl
—amend Council Regulations on rules on water content for poultry cuts
—decide on Association Agreements, World Trade Organisation and other disputes in the poultry area
—supply balances of egg, poultry and rabbits to Azores, Madeira and Canary Islands
—African/Caribbean/Pacific and Central European Countries import licences and quotas and Food Aid.
Management Committee ofthe Common Organization ofAgricultural Market for:Cereals (Cereals ManagementCommittee) Regulations 1766/92, 3072/95, 1766/92, 136/66, 603/95 IIaMet 46 times in 1997 to set export refunds and to
—Amend the arrangements for implementing concessions relating to import duty exemption for cereals sector products originating in Eastern Europe,
—partial reimbursement of import duties on fish food; opening a 300,000 tonne import quota for Third Country high quality wheat;
—establishment of Cumulative Recovery System for rice imports in response to United States representations to World Trade Organisation panel;
—agreement of new "double zero" oilseeds varieties under the Arable Area Payments Scheme (AAPS); regulation covering the supply of foodstuffs to the most needy citizens in the Community; export taxes for certain cereals exports introduced; adjustment to sowing date deadlines in Sweden;
—amendment to AAPS sowing deadlines for certain crops including linseed;
—regulation to allow non-food crops to be grown on set-aside land agreed;
—derogations to quality standards for cereals entering intervention agreed; corrigendum to Common Customs Tariff agreed; regulation agreed on arable penalties under AAPS; corrigendum to Spanish regionalisation plan for oilseeds agreed;
—reduction co-efficient applied to French area payments under AAPS; derogation allowing producers in flood-affected areas in Austria and Germany to graze cattle on set-aside land; regulation allowing advance payments to producers in flood affected areas in Germany;
—Free food for the Needy plan agreed; cereals import quotas for East European countries agreed;
—vitreous grain percentage for durum wheat lowered;
—cereals and rice balance sheets for the Azores and Madeira agreed; regulation agreed on supply of dried fodder to the smaller Aegean islands for 1998;
—supply balance to French Overseas Department and French Guyana adopted; licence validity for common wheat to certain African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACPs) agreed; implementing rules for imports of rice originating in ACPs and Overseas Countries and Territories.
Management Committee of theCommon Organisation of Agricultural Market for: Milk and Milk Products (Milk Management Committee) Regulation 804/68IIa —Met 23 times in 1997 to
—vote (at least once a month) on export refunds for milk and milk products and for certain Non Annex II products, even if the refund rates are unchanged;
—in addition to the votes taken on the standard items in 1997, a number of other Commission proposals were adopted. The list below is by way of example:
—export Refund Nomenclature for cheese amended so as to base the calculation of the refund rate on the dry matter content of the product concerned;
—new system introduced for calculating export refunds on processed cheese;
—regulation setting out implementing rules for granting of the subsidy on butter destined for food manufacture consolidated;
—implementing rules governing exports of dairy products under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) amended to introduce horizontal concept of product groups;
—all the implementing rules governing various preferential imports of dairy products harmonised into one regulation;
—subsidy for butter for concentration suspended (subsequently reintroduced in 1998).
Management Committee of the Common Organisation of Agricultural Market for: Fresh Fruit and Vegetables (Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Management Committee) Regulation 2200/96IIa Met 22 times in 1997 and has been much occupied in the drawing up of detailed rules for the implementation of the reformed fruit and vegetable regime involving Community support towards operational programmes drawn up by fruit and vegetable producer organisations.
Management Committee of the Common Organisation of Agricultural Markets for: Wines (Wine Management Committee) Regulation 822/87IIa Met 24 times in 1997 to:
—Introduce new Commission Regulations
—on various distillation measures for the current wine year;
—for traditional terms;
—on long term storage contracts for the current year.
—Amendment of Commission Regulations including those concerning harvest declarations,
—descriptions and labelling,
—export refund rates and
—aid rates for wine exported to Canary Islands.
—Also collection of data for EC databases,
—oenological practices,
—duty free imports of Cypriot grape must,
—vine variety classification,
—opening sales of wine alcohol and various aid rates/schemes
—accepting bids for sale of wine
—Exchange of views on: the market situation; establishing a provisional balance sheet
—Discussion of: information concerning illicit planting of vines; Belgian eco tax; restrictions on truck transport of port; wine contamination incidents; bilateral agreements with Third Countries; presentation of promotion campaigns.
Management Committee of the Common Organisation of Agricultural Market for: Sugar (Management Committee for Sugar) Regulation 1785/81IIa —Met 50 times in 1997 to
—Adjudicate on the weekly export refund tender for white sugar and other export refunds in the sugar sector
—set the rate of production levies in the sugar sector
—set the rate of storage levy in the sugar sector
—set the rate of refining aid for raw cane sugar
—set the rate of production refunds for sugar used by the EU chemical industry
—set the agrimonetary conversion rates in the sugar sector
—set the amount of national production quotas in the sugar sector
—set the level of the small variable import quota for preferential imports of raw cane sugar together with minimum prices
—apply import tariff arrangements (eg tariff suspension, special safeguard duties) in the sugar sector
—set up implementing arrangements for the sugar sector under measures applicable to the French Overseas Territories, Madeira and the Canaries.
Management Committee of the Common Organisation of Agricultural Market for: oils and fats (Management Committee for Oils and Fats) Regulation 136/66IIa —Met 22 times to manage the market
—by setting export refund levels for olive oil
—opening private storage when public intervention is not available including the setting of rules for sale of intervention stocks
—establishing production figures and fixing the amount of production aid payable as an advance, and final level of aid after any penalties; and
—monitoring operation of regime rules.
Management Committee of the Common Organisation of Agricultural Market for: Beef and Veal (Management Committee for Beef and Veal) Regulation 805/68IIb Met 28 times in 1997 to discuss
—market situation
—intervention sates and Purchases
—export Refunds
—import quota arrangements
—Beef Promotion Scheme
—Beef Labelling Scheme
—Livestock Premium Schemes
Management Committee of the Common Organisation of Agricultural Market for: Products processed from Fruit and Vegetables (Processed Fruit and Vegetables Management Committee) Regulation 2201/96IIa Met 22 times in 1997 at the same time as the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Management Committee.
Management Committee of the Common Organisation of Agricultural Market for: Live Plant and Floriculture Products (Management Committee for Live Plant and Floriculture Products or the Flowers Management Committee) Regulation 234/68IIa Met 6 in 1997 to discuss and agree
—detailed rules for the promotion scheme, prices for roses and carnations, amendment of controls over imports from Cyprus, Israel, Jordan and Morocco.
—Consideration was also given to altering the application of preferential customs duties on imports of flowers from some Mediterranean countries.
Management Committee of the Common Organisation of Agricultural Market for: Raw Tobacco (Tobacco Management Committee Regulation 2075/92IIa Met 3 times in 1997 to agree
—in-year transfers of quota
—derogations for deadlines for conclusions of contracts
—on specific measures for the Canary Islands
—also production of statistics
Management Committee of the Common Organisation of Agricultural Market for: Hops (Hops Management Committee) Regulation 1696/71IIa Met 3 times in 1997 to consider the detailed application of a Council Regulation to extend the income aid already available to growers temporarily resting or grubbing their hops.
Management Committee of the Common Organisation of Agricultural Market for: Seeds (Management Committee for Seeds) Regulation 2358/71IIa The Committee met once in 1997 to
—analyse statistical information for price fixing purposes for Seed Production Aids (SPA) and to
—adopt the Lolium perenne variety classifications (related to SPA rates).
Management Committee of the Common Organisation of Agricultural Market for: Flax and Hemp (Flax and Hemp Management Committee) Regulation 1308/70IIa Met 6 times in 1997 to monitor the operation of regime rules
—amending the detailed rules when necessary
—determining which varieties of flax and hemp are eligible for area payments
—assessment and approval of processing contracts
—determining the minimum yields of flax to be achieved by growers.
Management Committee of the Common Organisation of Agricultural Market for: Dehydrated Fodder (Dried Fodder Management Committee) Regulation 603/95IIa Met 2 times in 1997 to
—determine production and the final aid rate paid to processors; and to
—monitor the operation of the regime rules.
Management Committee of the Common Organisation of Agricultural Market for: Sheep and Goats (Management Committee for Sheep and Goats) Regulation 3013/89IIb Met 7 times in 1997 to discuss
—the market situation
—Sheep Annual Premium
—import arrangements
—Private Storage Aid.
Management Committee of the Common Organisation of Agricultural Market for Bananas (Banana Management Committee) Regulation 404/93IIa Met 12 times in 1997 to vote on the:
—reduction coefficients to be applied to traders' overall reference quantities for the whole year, to give the amount of licence available to each trader;
—the indicative quantities of import licences available to traders for each quarter;
—reduction coefficients to be applied where traders' applications exceeded quantities of licences available for particular sources;
—quantities of aid to be paid to EU producers, along with advances and securities;
—the supply balance indicating consumption and supply of bananas for the year;
—an increase in the tariff quota for Third Country bananas for the year, consequential on the supply balance;
—decisions on certain operators' applications to be considered as cases of special hardship in line with European Court of Justice ruling C-68/95.

The Committee also discussed the EU banana market regularly, taking on board views of Member States, and considered Commission ideas on the collection of licensing, trade and price statistics.
Management Committee on Agricultural Structures and Rural Development (STAR) Regulation 4253/88IIa Met 11 times in 1997 to
—deliver opinions on Commission Decisions and implementing regulations in respect of Member States Programmes co-financed by the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) under Objectives 5a, 5b and 1 and Member States accompanying measures programmes co-financed by the EAGGF; and to
—Consult on Member States programmes co-financed by EAGGF under Objective 1.
Joint Meetings of Management Committees on: Agrimonetary questions (Agrimonetary Management Committee) Regulation 3913/92IIa Met 8 times in 1997 to discuss
—the annulment of temporary rules on Customs rates
—compensation for revaluations of green rates
—non-avis on Commission proposal to cancel compensation
Agreement was reached on
—Commission proposal reducing compensation to Ireland
—draft Commission Regulations setting agricultural conversion rates applicable to certain aid in Sweden and UK and resulting compensatory aid and adjusting agrimonetary compensation granted to Denmark
—compensation for UK following appreciable revaluations in June and August
Approval was reached
—on a Commission proposal setting compensation available in Member States for those Common Agricultural Policy direct payments with a 1 August operative event.
Joint Meetings of Management Committees on: Trade Mechanisms(Trade Mechanism Management Committee) Regulations 3665/87, 3719/88IIa, b Met 10 times in 1997 to
—issue four Regulations amending the main Regulation on the common detailed rules for the system of export refunds;
—issue one Regulation amending the main Regulation on the common detailed rules for the system of import licensing;
—issue a new Regulation on the detailed rules for the export of products supplied as Community food aid;
—consider various agreements and working documents on the implementation of the main export refund Regulation; and to
—continue work on a new version of the Regulation for the system of export refunds.
Management Committee forFisheries Products Regulation 3759/92IIaPrincipal functions: fixing of reference prices; fixing of withdrawal prices; flat rate aid; private storage aid; fixing of Community price for tuna; aid for tuna producers; adjustments to the Common Marketing Standards; inspection of Common Marketing Standards; measures including aid to improve quality; financial compensation for POs; suspension (whole or part) of common customs tariffs; rules for certain frozen fish products; rules on granting FEOGA aid. Rules for the submission of information to the Commission.
Management Committee for the Fisheries and Aquaculture sector Regulations 3760/92, 847/96, 894/97, 850/98, 2027/95, 1627/94, 3317/94, 2847/97. Decision 95/527. IIaAdopted 25 Commission measures (18 Decisions and 7 Regulations) in 1997.
Standing Committee on Agricultural Statistics Regulation 72/279IIIa, IIa Met 6 times in 1997.
Structure of Agriculture Holdings. Met 2 times to make decisions on
—tightening up of disclosure procedures;
—authorising financial contributions to Member States.

Improving Community Statistics —Technical Action Plans for Agricultural Statistics (TAPAS). Met 2 times to discuss
—development priorities for 1997 and 1998;
—setting financial ceilings for EU contributions to Member States and authorisation of EU payments for work done.

Animal Products Statistics. Met once to make decisions on
—study of protein content of milk products;
—continuing discussions on breakdown of butter statistics.

Restructuring of Agricultural Surveys in Greece. Met once. Approved 1996 report of progress and completion of initiative.
FAIR Programme CommitteeDecisions 1110/94, 805/94 IIaMet 3 times in 1997 to discuss the shortlist of proposals for funding drawn up by the Commission following the previous call; targeting of the next call for proposals and progress on the specific call for proposals for research on Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies.
Standing Committee on Plant Variety Rights Regulation 2100/94IIIbMet 2 times in 1997 to discuss a number of issues including amendments to legislation.
Standing Committee for Fisheries Structures Regulation 2080/93IIa Met 6 times in 1997. Adopted one Decision and one Regulation in 1997 concerning eligibility of expenditure under structural funds and on financial control of structural funds. Also adopted measures relating to the cancellation or modification of awards of EU grant aid to a number of projects under Council Regulation 4028/86.



 
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