As European Commission import duties on Myanmar rice went into effect on Friday, rice growers in the country said they were unfazed and would continue to export several other strains of rice to the EU market.
The European Commission on Wednesday imposed duties on Indica rice grown in Myanmar and Cambodia after determining that imports were causing economic damage to European rice growers.
The tariff, if reinstated, would remain in effect for three years and reduce progressively each year.
Myanmar rice growers say the tariff will have limited effect on their business because it affects just one of the four rice strains the South-East Asian country exports to Europe.
“Myanmar exports four strains of rice to the EU market: Indica, Japonica (medium and short grain) and broken rice.
“In the current situation, we can still export Japonica rice and broken rice to the EU market without paying duties.
“So, while there is some barrier to trade, we are not too worried,’’ a spokesperson for the Myanmar Rice Federation told dpa in an email.
Myanmar and Cambodia are beneficiaries of the EU’s Everything But Arms trade scheme, which grants some of the least developed countries duty-free access to the EU market for all products except arms and ammunitions.
However, the scheme includes a trade safeguard regulation, which was invoked by eight rice-producing EU members states in 2018.
The EU delegation in Myanmar has said the tariff is unrelated to the potential withdrawal of Myanmar’s trade privileges due to rights violations.