The EU imported fruit and vegetables from Turkey worth € 738.4 million up to September 2016, an increase of 21% compared to the same period in 2015, according to Eurostat data processed by FEPEX. Turkey is the EU's fourth largest non-EU vegetable supplier and the seventh largest fruit supplier, and the European Commission has already started the formal process for the modernization of the Customs Union Agreement.
The EU's import of Turkish vegetables in the first nine months of 2016 amounted to 141.3 million Euro, 29% more than in the same period of 2015, with tomato being the most imported vegetable, with 45 million Euro (+41 %). Turkey is the fourth largest non-EU supplier of vegetables, after Morocco, Egypt and Israel.
EU imports of Turkish fruits in the period at hand amounted to € 597 million (+19%), with fresh and dried grapes being the most imported fruit, with €234.9 million (-8%), followed by stonefruit (mainly apricots and peaches) with 161.2 million Euro (+70%) and citrus fruits, with 97.6 million Euro (+69%). Turkey is the seventh largest non-EU supplier of fruit, after South Africa, Costa Rica, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru.
The European Commission and Turkey have recently initiated the formal process for the modernization of the Customs Union Agreement. On 21 December, the European Commission requested authorization from the Council to update the agreement, which has been in force since 1996. If the Council gives its consent, the negotiations would aim for the incorporation of new aspects related to non-tariff barriers, public procurement and services.
The access of Turkish products to the Community market is regulated by the Customs Union Agreement which came into force on 31 December 1995 and its scope is limited to industrial products and processed agricultural products, with raw agricultural products not included.