Considerations on COM(2011)626 - Common organisation of the markets in agricultural products (Single CMO Regulation) - EU monitor

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Considerations on COM(2011)626 - Common organisation of the markets in agricultural products (Single CMO Regulation)

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table>(1)The Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions entitled 'The CAP towards 2020: Meeting the food, natural resources and territorial challenges of the future' sets out potential challenges, objectives and orientations for the Common Agricultural Policy ("the CAP") after 2013. In the light of the debate on that Communication, the CAP should be reformed with effect from 1 January 2014. That reform should cover all the main instruments of the CAP, including Council Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 (5). In view of the scope of the reform, it is appropriate to repeal that Regulation and to replace it with a new regulation on the common organisation of the markets in agricultural products. The reform should also, as far as possible, harmonise, streamline and simplify the provisions, particularly those covering more than one agricultural sector, including by ensuring that non-essential elements of measures may be adopted by the Commission by way of delegated acts.
(2)This Regulation should contain all the basic elements of the common organisation of the markets in agricultural products.

(3)This Regulation should apply to all agricultural products listed in Annex I to the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) and to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) (together, 'the Treaties') in order to ensure the existence of a common organisation of the market for all such products, as required by Article 40(1) TFEU.

(4)It should be clarified that Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council (6) and the provisions adopted pursuant to it should in principle apply to the measures set out in this Regulation. In particular, Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013 lays down provisions guaranteeing compliance with obligations laid down by provisions relating to the CAP, including checks and the application of administrative measures and administrative penalties in case of non-compliance, and rules related to the lodging and releasing of securities and the recovery of undue payments.

(5)Pursuant to Article 43(3) TFEU, the Council is to adopt measures on fixing prices, levies, aid and quantitative limitations. In the interest of clarity, where Article 43(3) TFEU applies, this Regulation should explicitly refer to the fact that measures will be adopted by the Council on that legal basis.

(6)In order to supplement or amend certain non-essential elements of this Regulation, the power to adopt acts in accordance with Article 290 TFEU should be delegated to the Commission. It is of particular importance that the Commission carry out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level. The Commission, when preparing and drawing up delegated acts, should ensure a simultaneous, timely and appropriate transmission of relevant documents to the European Parliament and to the Council.

(7)Certain definitions concerning certain sectors should be set out in this Regulation. In order to take into account the specific characteristics of the rice sector, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of amending the definitions concerning the rice sector to the extent necessary to update them in the light of market developments.

(8)This Regulation refers to the description of products and contains references to the headings or subheadings of the combined nomenclature. Amendments to the Common Customs Tariff nomenclature may necessitate consequential technical adjustments to this Regulation. In order to take into account such amendments, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of making the necessary technical adjustments. In the interests of clarity and simplicity, Council Regulation (EEC) No 234/79 (7), which currently provides for such a power, should be repealed and the power integrated into this Regulation.

(9)Marketing years should be fixed for cereals, rice, sugar, dried fodder, seeds, wine, olive oil and table olives, flax and hemp, fruit and vegetables, processed fruit and vegetables, bananas, milk and milk products, and silkworms, and adapted as far as possible to the biological production cycles of each of those products.

(10)In order to stabilise the markets and to ensure a fair standard of living for the agricultural community, a differentiated system of market support for the different sectors has been developed and direct support schemes have been introduced, taking into account the different needs in each of these sectors on the one hand and the interdependence between different sectors on the other. Those measures take the form of public intervention or the payment of aid for private storage. There continues to be a need to maintain market support measures whilst streamlining and simplifying them.

(11)Union scales for the classification, identification and presentation of carcasses in the beef and veal, pigmeat and sheepmeat and goatmeat sectors should be fixed for the purpose of recording prices and applying the intervention arrangements in those sectors. Moreover, such Union scales pursue the objective of improving market transparency.

(12)For the sake of clarity and transparency, the provisions on public intervention should be made subject to a common structure, whilst maintaining the policy pursued in each sector. For that purpose, it is appropriate to distinguish between reference thresholds and intervention prices and to define the latter. In doing so, it is particularly important to clarify that only intervention prices for public intervention correspond to the applied administered prices referred to in the first sentence of paragraph 8 of Annex 3 to the WTO Agreement on Agriculture (i.e. market price support). In this context, it should be understood that market intervention can take the form of public intervention, as well as of other forms of intervention that do not use ex-ante established price indications.

(13)As appropriate to each sector concerned in the light of the practice and experience under previous common organisations of the markets (CMOs), the system of public intervention should be available during certain periods of the year and should, during those periods, either be open on a permanent basis or be opened depending on market prices.

(14)Public intervention price should consist of a fixed price for certain quantities for some products and in other cases should depend on tendering, reflecting the practice and experience under previous CMOs.

(15)This Regulation should provide for the possibility of disposal of products bought in public intervention. Such measures should be taken in a way that avoids market disturbances and that ensures equal access to goods and equal treatment of purchasers.

(16)The existing scheme for food distribution to the most deprived in the Union adopted under the CAP should be the subject of a separate Regulation adopted to reflect the social cohesion objectives of that scheme. Provision should nevertheless be made in this Regulation to allow for the disposal of products held in public intervention by making them available for use in that scheme.

(17)To achieve the aim of balancing the market and stabilising the market prices, it may be necessary to grant aid for private storage of specific agricultural products. In order to provide for market transparency, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of laying down the conditions under which it may decide to grant private storage aid, taking into account the market situation.

(18)In order to ensure that products bought in under public intervention or subject to aid for private storage are suitable for long-term storage and are of sound, fair and marketable quality, and in order to take into account the specific characteristics of the different sectors for the purposes of ensuring the cost-effective operation of public intervention and private storage, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of laying down the requirements and conditions to be met by those products concerning their quality and eligibility, in addition to the requirements laid down in this Regulation.

(19)In order to take account of the specific characteristics of the cereals and paddy rice sectors, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of laying down the quality criteria as regards buying-in and sales of those products.

(20)In order to ensure appropriate storage capacity and the efficiency of the public intervention system in terms of cost-effectiveness, distribution and access for operators, and in order to maintain the quality of products bought in under public intervention for their disposal at the end of the storage period, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the requirements to be fulfilled by storage places for all products subject to public intervention, rules on the storage of products inside and outside the Member State responsible for them and their treatment as regards customs duties and any other amounts to be granted or levied under the CAP.

(21)In order to ensure that private storage has the desired effect on the market, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of rules and conditions applicable where the quantity stored is lower than the contracted quantity; the conditions for granting an advance payment; and the conditions applicable to the re-marketing and disposal of products covered by private storage contracts.

(22)In order to ensure the proper functioning of the public intervention and private storage systems, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of providing for the use of tendering procedures, and laying down additional conditions to be fulfilled by operators and a requirement for them to lodge a security.

(23)In order to take account of technical developments and of the needs of the beef and veal, pigmeat and sheepmeat and goatmeat sectors, as well as of the need to standardise the presentation of the different products for the purposes of improving market transparency, price recording and the application of the market intervention measures, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of adapting and updating Union scales for the classification of carcasses in those sectors, as well as in respect of laying down certain related additional provisions and derogations.

(24)The consumption of fruit and vegetables, as well as of milk and milk products by school children should be encouraged with a view to durably increasing the share of those products in the diets of children at the stage when their eating habits are being formed, thereby contributing to the achievement of the objectives of the CAP in particular stabilising markets and ensuring the availability of both current and future supplies. Union aid to finance or co-finance the supply to children in educational establishments of such products should therefore be promoted.

(25)In order to ensure a sound budgetary management of the Union school fruit and vegetables scheme and school milk scheme, appropriate provisions for each one should be established. Union aid should not be used to replace funding for any existing national school fruit and vegetables schemes and school milk schemes. In the light of budgetary constraints, Member States should nonetheless be able to replace their financial contribution to those schemes with contributions from the private sector. In order to make their school fruit and vegetables schemes effective, accompanying measures may be necessary for which they should be allowed to grant national aid. Member States participating in the schemes should publicise the subsiding role of the Union aid.

(26)In order to promote the healthy eating habits of children and to ensure that the aid is targeted at children in regular attendance at educational establishments administered or recognised by Member States, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the school fruit and vegetables scheme concerning the additional criteria related to the targeting of aid, the approval and selection of aid applicants and the drawing-up of national or regional strategies and on accompanying measures.

(27)In order to ensure the efficient and targeted use of Union funds, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the school fruit and vegetables scheme concerning the method for reallocating aid between Member States on the basis of requests for aid applications received, the costs eligible for Union aid, including the possibility of fixing an overall ceiling for such costs, and the obligation for Member States to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of their school fruit and vegetables schemes.

(28)In order to promote awareness of the school fruit and vegetables scheme, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of requiring participating Member States with a school fruit and vegetables scheme to publicise the subsidising role of the Union aid.

(29)In order to take into account the evolution in consumption patterns for dairy products, the innovations and developments on the dairy products market, the availability of products on the different markets of the Union and nutritional aspects, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the school milk scheme in respect of the products that are eligible for the scheme, the Member States' national or regional strategies, including accompanying measures where applicable, and the monitoring and evaluation of the scheme.

(30)In order to ensure that the appropriate beneficiaries and applicants qualify for Union aid and that it is used efficiently and effectively, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the rules on the beneficiaries and applicants eligible for the aid, the requirement for applicants to be approved by Member States, and the use of dairy products in the preparation of meals in educational establishments.

(31)In order to ensure that aid applicants respect their obligations, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the requirement to lodge a security where an advance of aid is paid.

(32)In order to promote awareness of the school milk scheme, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the conditions in accordance with which Member States are to publicise their participation in that scheme and the fact that it is subsidised by the Union.

(33)In order to ensure that the aid is reflected in the price of the products, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the establishment of price monitoring under the school milk scheme.

(34)Union financing is required to encourage recognised producer organisations, associations of producer organisations or interbranch organisations to draw up work programmes for the purpose of improving the production and marketing of olive oil and table olives. In that context, this Regulation should provide for Union support to be allocated in accordance with the priorities given to the activities undertaken within the respective work programmes. However, co-financing should be reduced in order to improve the efficiency of such programmes.

(35)In order to ensure the efficient and effective use of the Union aid granted to producer organisations, associations of producer organisations or interbranch organisations in the olive oil and table olives sector and in order to improve the production quality of olive oil and table olives, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the specific measures that can be financed by the Union aid and the activities and costs that cannot be so financed; the minimum allocation of Union financing to specific areas; the requirement to lodge a security; and the criteria to be taken into account by Member States in the selection and approval of work programmes.

(36)This Regulation should make a distinction between fruit and vegetables on the one hand, comprising fruit and vegetables for direct consumption and fruit and vegetables intended for processing, and processed fruit and vegetables on the other hand. Rules on operational funds, operational programmes and Union financial assistance should only apply to the first category, and both types of fruit and vegetables within that category should be treated in a similar way.

(37)The production of fruit and vegetables is unpredictable and the products are perishable. Even limited surpluses can significantly disturb the market. Therefore, measures for crisis management should be established and those measures should continue to be integrated into operational programmes.

(38)The production and marketing of fruit and vegetables should fully take into account environmental concerns, including cultivation practices, management of waste materials and disposal of products withdrawn from the market, in particular as regards protection of water quality, maintenance of biodiversity and the upkeep of the countryside.

(39)Support for setting up producer groups should be provided for all sectors in all Member States under rural development policy. The specific support in the fruit and vegetables sector should therefore be discontinued.

(40)In order to give producer organisations and their associations in the fruit and vegetables sector greater responsibility for their financial decisions and to direct the public resources assigned to them towards future requirements, terms should be set out for the use of those resources. Joint financing of operational funds set up by producer organisations and their associations is an appropriate solution. Additional scope for financing should be permitted in particular cases. Operational funds should only be used to finance operational programmes in the fruit and vegetables sector. In order to control Union expenditure, there should be a cap on assistance granted to producer organisations and their associations that establish operational funds.

(41)In regions where the organisation of production in the fruit and vegetables sector is weak, granting of additional national financial contributions should be allowed. In the case of Member States which are at a particular disadvantage with regard to structures, such contributions should be reimbursed by the Union.

(42)In order to ensure an efficient, targeted and sustainable support of producer organisations and their associations in the fruit and vegetables sector, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of operational funds and operational programmes, the national framework and national strategy for operational programmes concerning the obligation to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the national framework and the national strategies; Union financial assistance; crisis prevention and management measures; and national financial assistance.

(43)It is important to provide for support measures in the wine sector which strengthen competitive structures. While those measures should be defined and financed by the Union, it should be left to Member States to select an appropriate set of measures to meet the needs of their regional bodies, taking into account their particularities, where necessary, as well as integrate them into national support programmes. Member States should be responsible for the implementation of such programmes.

(44)One key measure eligible for national support programmes should be the promotion and marketing of Union wines. Support for innovation can increase the marketability and competitiveness of Union grapevine products. Restructuring and conversion activities should continue to be covered on account of their positive structural effects on the wine sector. Support should also be available for investments in the wine sector which are geared towards improving the economic performance of the enterprises. Support for by-product distillation should be a measure available to Member States which desire to use such an instrument to ensure the quality of wine, while protecting the environment.

(45)Preventive instruments such as harvest insurance, mutual funds and green harvesting should be eligible for support under the wine support programmes so as to encourage a responsible approach to crisis situations.

(46)The provisions on support to vine-growers by way of allocation of payment entitlements as decided by Member States were made definitive from the financial year 2015 under Article 103n of Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 and subject to the conditions set out in that provision.

(47)In order to ensure that Member States' wine support programmes meet their objectives and that there is an efficient and effective use of the Union funds, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of: rules on the responsibility for expenditure between the date of receipt by the Commission of the support programmes and modifications to support programmes, and their date of applicability; rules on the content of support programmes and the expenditure, administrative and personnel costs and operations that may be included in Member States' support programmes and the conditions for, and the possibility to make, payments through intermediaries in the case of support for harvest insurance; rules on the requirement to lodge a security where an advance payment is made; rules on the use of certain terms; rules on the fixing of a ceiling for expenditure on the replanting of vineyards for health or phytosanitary reasons; rules on the avoidance of double funding of projects; rules under which producers are to withdraw the by-products of winemaking, and on exceptions to that obligation in order to avoid additional administrative burden, and rules for the voluntary certification of distillers; and rules allowing Member States to establish conditions for the proper functioning of support measures.

(48)Beekeeping is characterised by the diversity of production conditions and yields and the dispersion and variety of economic operators, both at the production and marketing stages. Moreover, in view of the increasing incidence on bee health of certain types of hive invasions, and in particular of the spread of varroasis in several Member States in recent years and the problems which that disease causes to honey production, action by the Union continues to be necessary as varroasis cannot be completely eradicated and is to be treated with approved products. Given such circumstances, and in order to improve the production and marketing of apiculture products in the Union, national programmes for the sector should be drawn up every three years with a view to improving the general conditions for the production and marketing of apiculture products. Those national programmes should be partly financed by the Union.

(49)The measures which may be included in the apiculture programmes should be specified. In order to ensure that the Union aid scheme is adapted to the latest developments and that the measures covered are effective in improving the general conditions for the production and marketing of apiculture products, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of updating the list of measures, by adapting existing measures or adding new measures.

(50)In order to ensure the effective and efficient use of Union funds for apiculture, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the avoidance of double funding between Member States' apiculture programmes and rural development programmes and the basis of the allocation of the Union's financial contribution to each participating Member State.

(51)In accordance with Council Regulation (EC) No 73/2009 (8), the hops area payment was decoupled from 1 January 2010. In order to allow the hop producer organisations to continue their activities as before, a specific provision should be made for equivalent amounts to be used in the Member State concerned for the same activities. In order to ensure that the aids finance the aims of producer organisations, as set out in this Regulation, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of aid applications, rules on eligible hop areas and the calculation of aids.

(52)Union aid for silkworm rearing should be decoupled and integrated into the direct payments system following the approach taken for aids in other sectors.

(53)The aid for Union-produced skimmed milk and skimmed-milk powder intended for use as a feedingstuff and for processing into casein and caseinates has not proved effective in supporting the market and should therefore be discontinued, along with the rules concerning the use of casein and caseinates in the manufacture of cheese.

(54)The decision to end the transitional prohibition on planting vines at Union level is justified by the attainment of the main objectives of the reform of the Union wine market organisation in 2008, in particular by the end of the long-standing structural surplus of wine production and the progressive improvement of competitiveness and market orientation of the wine sector in the Union. Such positive developments have resulted from a marked decrease of vine areas across the Union, the exit of less competitive producers and the phasing-out of certain market support measures removing the incentive for investments without economic viability. The reduction of supply capacity and the support for structural measures and promotion of wine exports have enabled a better adaptation to decreasing demand at Union level, resulting from a progressive decrease in consumption in traditional wine-producing Member States.

(55)However, the perspectives of progressive growth of demand at world market level provide an incentive to increase supply capacity, and therefore to plant new vines, over the next decade. While the key objective of increasing the competitiveness of the Union wine sector should be pursued in order not to lose market share in the world market, an excessively rapid increase in new vine plantings in response to forecasted development in international demand may lead again to a situation of excessive supply capacity in the medium-term, with possible social and environmental effects in specific wine production areas. In order to ensure an orderly growth of vine plantings during the period between 2016 and 2030, a new system for the management of vine plantings should be established at Union level, in the form of a scheme of authorisations for vine plantings.

(56)Under this new system, authorisations for vine plantings may be granted without a cost being charged to producers, and should expire after three years if they are not used. This would contribute to the swift and direct use of the authorisations by the wine producers to whom they are granted, thereby avoiding speculation.

(57)The growth of new vine plantings should be framed by a safeguard mechanism at Union level based on the obligation for Member States, on an annual basis, to make available authorisations for new plantings representing 1 % of the planted vine areas, while allowing for certain flexibility in order to respond to the specific circumstances of each Member State. Member States should be able to decide whether to make available smaller areas at national or regional levels, including at the level of areas eligible for specific protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications, on the basis of objective and non-discriminatory reasons, while ensuring the limitations imposed are above 0 % and are not overrestrictive in relation to the objectives pursued.

(58)In order to guarantee that authorisations are granted in a non-discriminatory manner, certain criteria should be laid down, and in particular where the total number of hectares made available by the authorisations offered by Member States is exceeded by the total number of hectares requested in the applications submitted by producers.

(59)The granting of authorisations to producers grubbing up an existing vine area should be automatic upon submission of an application and independently of the safeguard mechanism for new plantings, since it does not contribute to the overall increase of vine areas. In specific areas eligible for the production of wines with a protected designation of origin or a protected geographical indication, Member States should have the possibility of restricting the granting of such authorisations for replantings on the basis of recommendations of recognised and representative professional organisations.

(60)This new scheme of authorisations for vine plantings should not apply to Member States not applying the Union transitional planting rights regime and should be optional for those Member States where, although the planting rights apply, the vine planting area is below a certain threshold.

(61)Transitional provisions should be laid down in order to ensure a smooth transition from the former planting rights regime to the new scheme, in particular in order to avoid excessive plantings before the start of the new scheme. Member States should have a certain flexibility to decide on the deadline for the submission of requests for conversion of planting rights into authorisations from 31 December 2015 to 31 December 2020.

(62)In order to ensure a harmonised and effective implementation of the new scheme of authorisations for vine plantings, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the conditions for the exemption of certain vine plantings from the scheme, the rules relating to the eligibility and priority criteria, the addition of eligibility and priority criteria, the co-existence of vines to be grubbed up with newly planted vines, and the grounds on which Member States may restrict the granting of authorisations for replantings.

(63)The control of non-authorised plantings should be carried out effectively in order to ensure the compliance with the rules for the new scheme.

(64)The application of standards for the marketing of agricultural products can contribute to improving the economic conditions for the production and marketing and the quality of such products. The application of such standards is therefore in the interest of producers, traders and consumers.

(65)Following the Communication from the Commission on agricultural product quality policy and subsequent debates, it is appropriate to maintain marketing standards by sectors or products, in order to take into account the expectations of consumers and to contribute to the improvement of the economic conditions for the production and marketing of agricultural products and their quality.

(66)Provisions of a horizontal nature should be established for marketing standards.

(67)Marketing standards should be divided between obligatory rules for specific sectors or products and optional reserved terms to be established on a sectoral or product basis.

(68)Marketing standards should, in principle, apply to all agricultural products concerned that are marketed in the Union.

(69)The sectors and products for which marketing standards may apply should be listed in this Regulation. However, in order to take account of the expectations of consumers and of the need to improve the quality of agricultural products and the economic conditions for their production and marketing, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of amending that list, subject to strict conditions.

(70)In order to take account of the expectations of consumers and to improve the economic conditions for the production and marketing as well as the quality of certain agricultural products, and in order to adapt to constantly changing market conditions, evolving consumer demands, and developments in relevant international standards, and in order to avoid creating obstacles to product innovation, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of adopting marketing standards by sectors or products, at all stages of the marketing, as well as derogations and exemptions from such standards. The marketing standards should take into account, inter alia, the natural and essential characteristics of the products concerned, thereby avoiding causing substantial changes in the ordinary composition of the product concerned. Moreover, the marketing standards should take into account the possible risk of consumers being misled, as a result of their expectations and perceptions. Any derogation or exemptions from the standards should not entail additional costs which should be borne solely by farmers.

(71)Marketing standards should apply to enable the market to be easily supplied with products of a standardised and satisfactory quality, and in particular should relate to technical definitions, classification, presentation, marking and labelling, packaging, production method, conservation, storage, transport, related administrative documents, certification and time limits, restrictions of use and disposal.

(72)Taking into account the interest of producers in communicating the product and farming characteristics, and the interest of consumers in receiving adequate and transparent product information, it should be possible to determine the place of farming and/or the place of origin, on a case-by-case basis at the appropriate geographical level, while taking into account the specific characteristics of some sectors, in particular concerning processed agricultural products.

(73)Special rules should be provided in respect of products imported from third countries provided that national provisions in force in third countries justify derogations from the marketing standards and their equivalence to Union legislation is guaranteed. It is also appropriate to lay down rules relating to the application of the marketing standards applicable to the products exported from the Union.

(74)Products of the fruit and vegetables sector intended to be sold fresh to the consumer should be marketed only if they are sound, fair and of marketable quality and if the country of origin is indicated. In order to ensure the proper application of that requirement and to take into account certain specific situations, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of specific derogations from that requirement.

(75)A quality policy should be followed throughout the Union by applying a certification procedure for products of the hops sector and by prohibiting the marketing of those products for which a certificate has not been issued. In order to ensure the proper application of that requirement and to take into account certain specific situations, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of measures derogating from that requirement in order to satisfy the trade requirements of certain third countries or for products intended for special uses.

(76)For certain sectors and products, definitions, designations and sales descriptions are important elements for determining the conditions of competition. Therefore, it is appropriate to lay down definitions, designations and sales descriptions for those sectors and/or products, which should only be used in the Union for the marketing of products which comply with the corresponding requirements.

(77)In order to adapt the definitions and sales descriptions for certain products to needs resulting from evolving consumer demands, technical progress or the need for product innovation, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of modifications, derogations or exemptions to definitions and sales descriptions.

(78)In order to ensure that operators and Member States have a clear and proper understanding of the definitions and sales descriptions laid down for certain sectors, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the rules on their specification and application.

(79)In order to take into account the specific characteristics of each product or sector, the different marketing stages, the technical conditions, any possible considerable practical difficulty, and also the accuracy and repeatability of the methods of analysis, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission concerning tolerance for one or more specific standards in excess of which the entire batch of products should be considered not to respect the standard.

(80)Certain oenological practices and restrictions for the production of wine should be determined, in particular as regards coupage and the use of certain types of grape must, grape juice and fresh grapes originating in third countries. In order to meet international standards, for further oenological practices, the Commission should take into account the oenological practices recommended by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV).

(81)Rules should be laid down for the classification of wine grape varieties, according to which Member States producing more than 50 000 hectolitres per year should continue to be responsible for classifying the wine grape varieties from which wine may be made on their territories. Certain wine grape varieties should be excluded.

(82)Member States should be able to maintain or adopt certain national rules on quality levels as regards spreadable fats.

(83)For the wine sector, Member States should be allowed to limit or to exclude the use of certain oenological practices, should be allowed to keep more stringent restrictions for wines produced in their territory, and should allow the experimental use of unauthorised oenological practices.

(84)In order to ensure the correct and transparent application of national rules for certain products and sectors as regards marketing standards, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of establishing conditions for the application of such marketing standards, as well as the conditions for the holding, circulation and use of the products obtained from experimental practices.

(85)In addition to marketing standards, optional quality terms should be established in order to ensure that terms describing specific product characteristics, or farming or processing attributes are not misused in the market place and can be relied on by consumers to identify different qualities of product. In the light of the objectives of the present Regulation, and in the interest of clarity, existing optional quality terms should be listed in this Regulation.

(86)Member States should be allowed to lay down rules concerning the disposal of wine products not complying with the requirements of this Regulation. In order to ensure the correct and transparent application of national rules concerning wine products, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of establishing conditions for the use of wine products not complying with the requirements of this Regulation.

(87)In order to take into account the situation in the market and developments in marketing standards and in international standards, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of reserving an additional optional reserved term and laying down the conditions for its use, amending the conditions of use of an optional reserved term and cancelling an optional reserved term.

(88)In order to take into account the characteristics of certain sectors and consumer expectations, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of laying down further details on the requirements for the introduction of an additional reserved term.

(89)In order to ensure that products described by means of optional reserved terms conform to the applicable conditions of use, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of laying down additional rules on the use of optional reserved terms.

(90)In order to take account of the specific characteristics of trade between the Union and certain third countries and the special character of certain agricultural products, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission concerning the conditions under which imported products are considered to have an equivalent level of conformity to the Union requirements concerning marketing standards, and which allow for measures derogating from the rules that products are to be marketed in the Union only in accordance with such standards and the rules relating to the application of the marketing standards to products exported from the Union.

(91)Provisions concerning wine should be applied in the light of the international agreements concluded in accordance with the TFEU.

(92)The concept of quality wines in the Union is based, inter alia, on the specific characteristics attributable to the wine's geographical origin. Such wines are identified for consumers through protected designations of origin and geographical indications. In order to allow for a transparent and more elaborate framework underpinning the claim by the products concerned to be of quality, a system should be established in which applications for a designation of origin or a geographical indication are examined in line with the approach followed by the Union's horizontal quality policy applicable to foodstuffs other than wine and spirits, set out in Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council (9).

(93)In order to preserve the particular quality characteristics of wines with a protected designation of origin or a protected geographical indication, Member States should be allowed to apply more stringent rules.

(94)To qualify for protection in the Union, designations of origin and geographical indications for wine should be recognised and registered at the Union level in accordance with procedural rules laid down by the Commission.

(95)Protection should be open to designations of origin and geographical indications of third countries where they are protected in their country of origin.

(96)The registration procedure should enable any natural or legal person having a legitimate interest in a Member State or a third country to exercise their rights by notifying their objections.

(97)Registered designations of origin and geographical indications should be protected against uses which take advantage of the reputation enjoyed by complying products. So as to promote fair competition and not to mislead consumers, that protection should also extend to products and services not covered by this Regulation, including those not found in Annex I to the Treaties.

(98)In order to take into account existing labelling practices, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of permitting the use of a name of a wine grape variety which contains or consists of a protected designation of origin or a protected geographical indication.

(99)In order to take into account the specific characteristics of the production in the demarcated geographical area, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of laying down the additional criteria for the demarcation of the geographical area, and the restrictions and derogations concerning the production in the demarcated geographical area.

(100)In order to ensure product quality and traceability, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the conditions under which product specifications may include additional requirements.

(101)In order to ensure the protection of the legitimate rights or interests of producers and operators, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the type of applicant that may apply for the protection of a designation of origin or geographical indication; the conditions to be followed in respect of an application for the protection of a designation of origin or geographical indication, scrutiny by the Commission, the objection procedure, and procedures for amendment, cancellation and conversion of protected designations of origin or protected geographical indication. That empowerment should also cover: the conditions applicable to trans-border applications; the conditions for applications relating to geographical areas in a third country; the date from which protection or an amendment to a protection applies; and the conditions relating to amendments to product specifications.

(102)In order to ensure an adequate level of protection, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of restrictions regarding the protected name.

(103)In order to ensure that economic operators and competent authorities are not unduly affected by the application of this Regulation to wine names which have been granted protection prior to 1 August 2009, or for which an application for protection has been made prior to that date, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of laying down transitional rules concerning such wine names, wines placed on the market or labelled before a specific date, and amendments to the product specifications.

(104)Certain terms are traditionally used in the Union to convey information to consumers about the particularities and the quality of wines, complementing the information conveyed by protected designations of origin and geographical indications. In order to ensure the working of the internal market and fair competition and to avoid consumers being misled, those traditional terms should be eligible for protection in the Union.

(105)In order to ensure an adequate level of protection, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the language and the spelling of a traditional term to be protected.

(106)In order to ensure the protection of the legitimate rights of producers and operators, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the type of applicants that may apply for the protection of a traditional term; the conditions of validity of an application for recognition of a traditional term; the grounds for objecting to the proposed protection of a traditional term; the scope of the protection, including the relationship with trade marks, protected traditional terms, protected designations of origin or geographical indications, homonyms, or certain wine grape names; the grounds for the cancellation of a traditional term; the date of submission of an application or a request; and the procedures to be followed in respect of an application for the protection of a traditional term, including scrutiny by the Commission, the objection procedure and the procedures on cancellation and modification.

(107)In order to take into account the specific characteristics in trade between the Union and certain third countries, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the conditions under which traditional terms may be used on products from third countries and providing for related derogations.

(108)The description, designation and presentation of products of the wine sector covered by this Regulation can have significant effects on their marketability. Differences between the laws of Member States on the labelling of products of the wine sector may impede the smooth functioning of the internal market. Rules should therefore be laid down which take into account the legitimate interests of consumers and producers. For this reason, it is appropriate to provide for Union rules on labelling and presentation.

(109)In order to ensure compliance with existing labelling practices, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of laying down the exceptional circumstances in which it is justified to omit reference to the terms 'protected designation of origin' or 'protected geographical indication'.

(110)In order to take into account the specific characteristics of the wine sector, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the presentation and use of labelling particulars other than those provided for in this Regulation; certain compulsory and optional particulars; and presentation.

(111)In order to ensure the protection of the legitimate interests of operators, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of temporary labelling and presentation of wines bearing a designation of origin or a geographical indication where that designation of origin or geographical indication fulfils the necessary requirements.

(112)In order to ensure that economic operators are not prejudiced, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of transitional provisions as regards wine placed on the market and labelled in accordance with the relevant rules applying before 1 August 2009.

(113)In order to take into account the specific characteristics in trade in wine sector products between the Union and certain third countries, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the derogations from the rules on labelling and presentation as regards products to be exported where required by the law of the third country concerned.

(114)Specific instruments will still be needed after the end of the quota system to ensure a fair balance of rights and obligations between sugar undertakings and sugar beet growers. Therefore, the standard provisions governing written agreements within the trade concluded between them should be established.

(115)The 2006 reform of the sugar regime introduced far-reaching changes to the Union sugar sector. In order to enable sugar beet growers to complete their adaptation to the new market situation and to the increased market orientation of the sector, the present system of sugar quotas should be extended until it is abolished at the end of the 2016/2017 marketing year.

(116)In order to take into account the specific characteristics of the sugar sector, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of updating the technical definitions concerning the sugar sector; updating the purchase terms for beet laid down in this Regulation; and further rules on the determination of gross weight, tare and sugar content of sugar delivered to an undertaking, and on sugar pulp.

(117)Recent experience has demonstrated the need for specific measures to ensure a sufficient supply of sugar to the Union market during the remaining period of sugar quotas.

(118)In order to take into account the specific characteristics of the sugar sector and to ensure that the interests of all parties are duly taken into account, and given the need to prevent any disturbance of the market, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of: purchase terms and delivery contracts; updating the purchase terms for beet laid down in this Regulation; and the criteria to be applied by the sugar undertakings when allocating among beet sellers the quantities of beet to be covered by pre-sowing delivery contracts.

(119)In order to take account of technical developments, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of establishing a list of products for the production of which industrial sugar, industrial isoglucose or industrial inulin syrup may be used.

(120)In order to ensure that approved undertakings producing or processing sugar, isoglucose or inulin syrup comply with their obligations, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the granting and the withdrawal of approval for such undertakings, as well as the criteria for administrative penalties.

(121)In order to take into account the specific characteristics of the sugar sector and to ensure that the interests of all parties are duly taken into account, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the meaning of terms for the operation of the quota system and the conditions governing sales to outermost regions.

(122)In order to ensure that the growers are closely associated with a decision to carry forward a certain quantity of production, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of carry-forward of sugar.

(123)For a better management of wine-growing potential, Member States should communicate to the Commission an inventory of their production potential based on the vineyard register. To encourage Member States to communicate the inventory, support for restructuring and conversion should be limited to those Member States which have communicated the inventory.

(124)In order to facilitate the monitoring and the verification of the production potential by Member States, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the content of the vineyard register and exemptions.

(125)In order to provide for a satisfactory level of traceability of the products concerned, in particular in the interest of consumer protection, it should be a requirement for all the wine sector products covered by this Regulation to have an accompanying document when circulating within the Union.

(126)In order to facilitate the transport of wine products and the verification thereof by Member States, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of rules: on the accompanying document and its use; on the conditions under which an accompanying document is to be regarded as certifying protected designations of origin or geographical indications; on an obligation to keep a register and on its use; on specifying who shall keep a register and on exemptions from the obligation to keep a register; as well as on the operations to be included in the register.

(127)In the absence of Union legislation on formalised, written contracts, Member States may, under national contract law, decide to make the use of such contracts compulsory, provided that, in doing so, Union law is respected, and in particular that the proper functioning of the internal market and the common market organisation is respected. Given the diversity of situations across the Union, and in the interests of subsidiarity, such a decision should remain with Member States. However, in the milk and milk products sector, to ensure appropriate minimum standards for such contracts and the proper functioning of the internal market and the common market organisation, some basic conditions for the use of such contracts should be laid down at the Union level. All such basic conditions should be freely negotiated. Since some dairy co-operatives possibly have rules with similar effect in their statutes, they should, in the interests of simplicity, be exempted from the requirement to enter into a contract. In order to strengthen the effectiveness of such system of contracts, Member States should decide whether they should also apply where intermediate parties collect milk from farmers to deliver to processors.

(128)In order to ensure the viable development of production and a resulting fair standard of living for dairy farmers, their bargaining power vis-à-vis processors should be strengthened, which should result in a fairer distribution of added value along the supply chain. In order to attain those CAP objectives, a provision should be adopted pursuant to Article 42 and Article 43(2) TFEU to allow producer organisations constituted by dairy farmers or their associations to collectively negotiate with a dairy contract terms, including price, for some or all of their members' raw milk production. In order to maintain effective competition on the dairy market, this possibility should be subject to appropriate quantitative limits. In order not to undermine the effective functioning of cooperatives, and for the sake of clarity, it should be specified that, when a farmer's membership of a cooperative entails an obligation, in respect of all or a part of that farmer's milk production, to deliver raw milk, the conditions of which are set out in the cooperative's statutes or in the rules and decisions based thereon, those conditions should not be the subject of negotiations through a producer organisation.

(129)In view of the importance of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications, notably for vulnerable rural regions, and in order to ensure the value-added and to maintain the quality of, in particular, cheeses benefiting from protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications, and in view of the coming expiration of the milk quota system, Member States should be allowed to apply rules to regulate the entire supply of such cheese produced in the defined geographical area at the request of an interbranch organisation, a producer organisation or a group as defined in Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012. Such a request should be supported by a large majority of milk producers representing a large majority of the volume of milk used for that cheese and, in the case of interbranch organisations and groups, it should be supported by a large majority of cheese producers representing a large majority of the production of that cheese.

(130)In order to follow developments in the market, the Commission needs timely information on volumes of raw milk delivered. Therefore, provision should be made to ensure that the first purchaser communicates such information to Member States on a regular basis and that the Member State notifies the Commission thereof.

(131)Producer organisations and their associations can play useful roles in concentrating supply, in improving the marketing, planning and adjusting of production to demand, optimising production costs and stabilising producer prices, carrying out research, promoting best practices and providing technical assistance, managing by-products and risk management tools available to their members, thereby contributing to strengthening the position of producers in the food chain.

(132)Interbranch organisations can play an important part in allowing dialogue between actors in the supply chain, and in promoting best practices and market transparency.

(133)Existing rules on the definition and recognition of producer organisations, their associations, and interbranch organisations should therefore be harmonised, streamlined and extended to provide for possible recognition on request under statutes set out in accordance with this Regulation for certain sectors. In particular, the recognition criteria and statutes of producer organisations should ensure that such bodies are formed on the initiative of producers, and are controlled in accordance with rules enabling the producer members to scrutinise democratically their organisation and its decisions.

(134)Existing provisions in various sectors, boosting the impact of producer organisations, their associations and interbranch organisations by permitting Member States, under certain conditions, to extend certain rules of such organisations to non-member operators, have proved effective, and should be harmonised, streamlined and extended to all sectors.

(135)Provision should be made for the possibility of adopting certain measures to facilitate the adjustment of supply to market requirements which may contribute to stabilising the markets and to ensuring a fair standard of living for the agricultural community concerned.

(136)In order to encourage action by producer organisations, associations of producer organisations and interbranch organisations to facilitate the adjustment of supply to market requirements, with the exception of actions relating to withdrawal from the market, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of: measures improving quality; promoting better organisation of production, processing and marketing; facilitating the recording of market price trends; and permitting the establishment of short and long-term forecasts on the basis of the means of production used.

(137)In order to improve the operation of the market for wines, Member States should be able to implement decisions taken by interbranch organisations. The scope of such decisions should, however, exclude practices which could distort competition.

(138)Whereas the use of formalised written contracts in the milk sector is covered by separate provisions, the use of such contracts may also help to reinforce the responsibility of operators in other sectors and to increase their awareness of the need to better take into account the signals of the market, to improve price transmission and to adapt supply to demand, as well as to help to avoid certain unfair commercial practices. In the absence of Union legislation concerning such contracts, Member States may, under national contract law, decide to make the use of such contracts compulsory, provided that, in doing so, Union law is complied with, and in particular that the proper functioning of the internal market and the common market organisation is respected.

(139)In order to ensure the viable development of production and thus a fair standard of living for producers in the beef and veal and olive oil sectors, as well as for producers of certain arable crops, their bargaining power vis-à-vis downstream operators should be strengthened, thereby resulting in a fairer distribution of added value along the supply chain. To achieve those CAP objectives, recognised producer organisations should be able to negotiate, subject to quantitative limits, the terms of delivery contracts, including prices, for some or all of their members' production, provided that those organisations pursue one or more of the objectives of concentrating supply, the placing on the market of the products produced by its members and optimising production costs, and provided that the pursuit of those objectives leads to the integration of activities and such integration is likely to generate significant efficiencies so that the activities of the producer organisation overall contribute to the fulfilment of the objectives of Article 39 TFEU. This could be realised provided that the producer organisation carries out certain specific activities and that these activities are significant in terms of volume of production concerned and in terms of cost of the production and placing of the product on the market.

(140)In order to ensure the added value, and to maintain the quality of, in particular, cured ham benefitting from a protected designation of origin or a protected geographical indication, Member States should be allowed, subject to strict conditions, to apply rules to regulate the supply of such cured ham, provided that those rules are supported by a large majority of its producers and, where appropriate, by the producers of pigs in the geographical area relating to that ham.

(141)The obligation to register all supply contracts regarding hops produced in the Union is burdensome and should be discontinued.

(142)In order to ensure that the objectives and responsibilities of producer organisations, associations of producer organisations and interbranch organisations are clearly defined and to contribute to the effectiveness of their actions without imposing an undue administrative burden and without undermining the principle of freedom of association in particular with regard to non-members of such organisations, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of:

rules on the specific aims which may, must or must not be pursued by such organisations and associations and, where applicable, should be added to those laid down in this Regulation; the rules of such organisations and associations, the statutes of organisations other than producer organisations, the specific conditions applicable to the statutes of producer organisations in certain sectors, including derogations, the structure, membership period, size democratic accountability and activities of such organisations and associations, as well as the effects deriving from mergers; the conditions for recognition, withdrawal and suspension of recognition, the effects deriving thereof, as well as requirements to take remedial measures in the event of non-respect of the recognition criteria;

transnational organisations and associations and the rules relating to administrative assistance in the case of transnational cooperation; the sectors subject to Member State authorisation to which outsourcing applies and the conditions and the nature of activities which may be outsourced, and the provision of technical means by organisations or associations; the basis for calculation of minimum volume or value of marketable production of organisations and associations; rules on the calculation of the volume of raw milk covered by negotiations by a producer organisation, the acceptance of members who are not producers, in the case of producer organisations, or who are not producer organisations, in the case of an association of producer organisations;

the extension of certain rules of the organisations to non-members and the compulsory payment of subscriptions by non-members, including the use and allocation of such payments by those organisations and a list of stricter production rules which may be extended, further requirements as regards representativeness, the economic areas concerned, including Commission scrutiny of their definition, minimum periods during which the rules should be in force before their extension, the persons or organisations to whom the rules or contributions may be applied, and the circumstances in which the Commission may require that the extension of rules or compulsory contributions be refused or withdrawn.

(143)Monitoring trade flows is primarily a management issue which should be addressed in a flexible way. The decision on the introduction of licence requirements should be made taking account of the need for licences, the need for the management of the markets concerned and, in particular, the need for monitoring the imports or exports of the products in question.

(144)In order to take into account the international obligations of the Union and the applicable Union social, environmental and animal welfare standards, the need to monitor the evolution of trade and market developments and imports and exports, the need for sound market management and the need to reduce the administrative burden, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the list of the products subject to the presentation of an import or export licence, and the cases and situations where the presentation of an import or export licence is not required.

(145)In order to provide further elements of the licence system, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of rules on: the rights and obligations deriving from the licence, its legal effects and the cases where a tolerance applies as regards compliance with the obligation to import or export the quantity mentioned in the licence or, where the origin is to be indicated, the issue of an import licence or the release into free circulation being subject to the presentation of a document issued by a third country or an entity certifying inter alia the origin, the authenticity and the quality characteristics of the products; the transfer of the licence or restrictions on its transferability; additional conditions for import licences for hemp and the principle of administrative assistance between Member States to prevent or deal with cases of fraud and irregularities; and the cases and situations where the lodging of a security guaranteeing that the products are imported or exported within the period of validity of the licence is or is not required.

(146)The essential elements of customs duties applicable to agricultural products reflecting WTO agreements and bilateral agreements are laid down in the Common Customs Tariff. The Commission should be empowered to adopt measures for the detailed calculation of import duties pursuant to those essential elements.

(147)The entry price system should be maintained for certain products. In order to ensure the efficiency of that system, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of checking the veracity of the declared price of a consignment using a flat-rate import value, and providing for the conditions under which the lodging of a security is required.

(148)In order to prevent or counteract adverse effects on the Union market which might result from imports of certain agricultural products, imports of such products should be subject to payment of an additional duty, where certain conditions are fulfilled.

(149)It is appropriate, under certain conditions, to open and administer import tariff quotas resulting from international agreements concluded in accordance with the TFEU or from other Union legal acts. For import tariff quotas, the method of administration adopted should give due weight to the supply requirements of the existing and emerging Union production, processing and consumption markets, in terms of the competitiveness, certainty and continuity of supply, and to the need to safeguard the equilibrium of the market.

(150)In order to comply with the undertakings contained in the agreements concluded as part of the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations concerning tariff quotas for the import, into Spain, of 2 000 000 tonnes of maize and 300 000 tonnes of sorghum and tariff quotas for the import, into Portugal, of 500 000 tonnes of maize, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of establishing the provisions necessary for carrying out the tariff quota imports and, where appropriate, the public storage of the quantities imported by the paying agencies of the Member States concerned.

(151)In order to ensure fair access to the quantities available and the equal treatment of operators within the tariff quota, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of: determining the conditions and eligibility requirements that an operator has to fulfil to submit an application within the tariff quota; establishing rules on the transfer of rights between operators and, where necessary, the limitations that apply to transfers within the management of the tariff quota; making participation in the tariff quota subject to the lodging of a security; and providing, where necessary, for any particular specific characteristics, requirements or restrictions applicable to the tariff quota as set out in the international agreement or other act concerned.

(152)Agricultural products may in certain cases benefit from special import treatment in third countries if the products comply with certain specifications and/or price conditions. Administrative cooperation between the authorities in the importing third country and the Union is necessary to ensure the correct application of such a system. To that end, the products should be accompanied by a certificate issued in the Union.

(153)In order to ensure that products that are exported may benefit from a special treatment on import into a third country if certain conditions are respected, pursuant to international agreements concluded by the Union in accordance with the TFEU, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of requiring the competent authorities of Member States, on request and after appropriate checks, to issue a document certifying that the conditions are met.

(154)In order to prevent illicit crops from disturbing the market for hemp for fibre, this Regulation should provide for checks on imports of hemp and hemp seed to ensure that such products offer certain guarantees with regard to their tetrahydrocannabinol content. In addition, imports of hemp seed intended for uses other than sowing should continue to be subject to a control system which provides for the importers concerned to be authorised.

(155)A quality policy is being pursued throughout the Union as regards products of the hops sector. In the case of imported products, the provisions ensuring that only products complying with equivalent minimum quality characteristics are imported should be incorporated in this Regulation. In order to minimise the administrative burden, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the cases in which obligations related to an attestation of equivalence and the labelling of packaging should not apply.

(156)The Union has concluded several preferential market access arrangements with third countries which allow those countries to export cane sugar to the Union under favourable conditions. The related provisions on the evaluation of the refiners' need for sugar for refining and, subject to certain conditions, the reservation of import licences to specialised users of significant quantities of imported raw cane sugar who are considered to be full-time refiners in the Union, should be maintained for a certain period. In order to ensure that imported sugar for refining is refined in accordance with those requirements, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the use of terms for the operation of import arrangements; the conditions and eligibility requirements that an operator has to fulfil to lodge an application for an import licence, including the lodging of a security, and rules on administrative penalties to be imposed.

(157)The customs duty system makes it possible to dispense with all other protective measures at the external borders of the Union. The internal market and duty mechanism may, in exceptional circumstances, prove to be inadequate. In such cases, in order not to leave the Union market without defence against the disturbances that might ensue, the Union should be able to take all necessary measures without delay. Such measures should comply with the international commitments of the Union.

(158)It is appropriate to enable suspension of the use of inward and outward processing arrangements where the Union market is disturbed or is liable to be disturbed by such arrangements.

(159)Refunds on exports to third countries, based on the difference between prices within the Union and on the world market, and falling within the limits set by the commitments made within the WTO, should be retained as a measure which may cover certain products to which this Regulation applies where the conditions in the internal market are such as those described for exceptional measures. Subsidised exports should be subject to limits in terms of value and quantity, and, without prejudice to the application of exceptional measures, the refund available should be zero.

(160)Compliance with the limits expressed in terms of value should be ensured at the time when the export refunds are fixed through the monitoring of payments under the rules relating to the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund. Monitoring should be facilitated by the compulsory advance fixing of export refunds, while providing for the possibility, in the case of differentiated refunds, of changing the specified destination within a geographical area to which a single export refund rate applies. In the case of a change of destination, the export refund applicable to the actual destination should be paid, with a ceiling on the amount applicable to the destination fixed in advance.

(161)Compliance with the quantity limits should be ensured by a reliable and effective system of monitoring. To that end, the granting of export refunds should be made subject to an export licence. Export refunds should be granted up to the limits available, depending on the particular situation of each product concerned. Exceptions to that rule should be permitted only for processed products not listed in Annex I to the Treaties, to which volume limits do not apply. Provision should be made for a derogation from the requirement of strict compliance with management rules where exports benefiting from export refunds are not likely to exceed the quantity laid down.

(162)In the case of the export of live bovine animals, export refunds should be granted and paid only if the provisions established in Union legislation concerning animal welfare, in particular those concerning the protection of animals during transport, are respected.

(163)In order to ensure the proper functioning of the export refund system, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the requirement to lodge a security guaranteeing the execution of the operator's obligations.

(164)In order to minimise the administrative burden for operators and authorities, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of setting thresholds below which the obligation to issue or present an export licence may not be required, designating destinations or operations where an exemption from the obligation to present an export licence can be justified, and permitting, in justified situations, export licences to be granted ex-post.

(165)In order to address practical situations justifying the full or partial eligibility for export refunds, and in order to help operators bridge the period between the application for and the final payment of the export refund, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of rules on: another date for the refund; advance payment of export refunds, including the conditions for the lodging and release of a security; additional proof where doubts exist as to the real destination of products, and the opportunity for re-importation into the customs territory of the Union; destinations treated as exports from the Union, and the inclusion of destinations within the customs territory of the Union eligible for export refunds.

(166)In order to ensure equal access to export refunds for exporters of products listed in Annex I to the Treaties and of products processed therefrom, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of applying certain rules for agricultural products to products exported in the form of processed goods.

(167)In order to ensure that products benefiting from export refunds are exported from the customs territory of the Union and to avoid their return to that territory, as well as to minimise the administrative burden for operators in generating and submitting proof that refund products reached a country of destination for differentiated refunds, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of rules on: the time limit by which the exit from the customs territory of the Union must be finalised, including the time for temporary re-entry; the processing that products benefiting from export refunds may undergo during that period; the proof of having reached a destination in order to be eligible for differentiated refunds; the refund thresholds and conditions under which exporters may be exempted from such proof; and conditions for approval of proof, provided by independent third parties, of reaching a destination where differentiated refunds apply.

(168)In order to encourage exporters to respect animal welfare conditions, and in order to enable the competent authorities to verify correct expenditure of export refunds where this is conditional on respect for animal welfare requirements, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of animal welfare requirements outside the customs territory of the Union, including the use of independent third parties.

(169)In order to take account of the specific characteristics of the different sectors, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of specific requirements and conditions for operators and of the products eligible for an export refund, and the establishment of coefficients for the purposes of calculating export refunds, taking into account the ageing process of certain spirit drinks obtained from cereals.

(170)Minimum export prices for flowering bulbs are no longer useful and should be abolished.

(171)In accordance with Article 42 TFEU, the provisions of the TFEU concerning competition apply to the production of and trade in agricultural products only to the extent determined by Union legislation within the framework of Article 43(2) TFEU and in accordance with the procedure laid down therein.

(172)In view of the specific characteristics of the agricultural sector and its reliance on the good functioning of the entire food supply chain, including the effective application of competition rules in all related sectors throughout the whole food chain, which can be highly concentrated, special attention should be paid to the application of the competition rules laid down in Article 42 TFEU. To that end, there is a need for close cooperation between the Commission and the competition authorities of Member States. Moreover, guidelines adopted, where appropriate, by the Commission are a suitable instrument to provide guidance to undertakings and other stakeholders concerned.

(173)It should be provided that the rules on competition relating to the agreements, decisions and practices referred to in Article 101 TFEU and to abuse of a dominant position apply to the production of, and the trade in, agricultural products, provided that their application does not jeopardise the attainment of the objectives of the CAP.

(174)A special approach should be allowed in the case of farmers' or producer organisations or their associations, the objective of which is the joint production or marketing of agricultural products or the use of joint facilities, unless such joint action excludes competition or jeopardises the attainment of the objectives of Article 39 TFEU.

(175)Without prejudice to the regulation of supply for certain products, such as cheese and ham benefitting from a protected designation of origin or a protected geographic indication, or wine, which is governed by a specific set of rules, a special approach should be taken as regards certain activities of interbranch organisations on the condition that they do not lead to the partitioning of markets, affect the sound operation of the CMO, distort or eliminate competition, entail the fixing of prices or quotas, or create discrimination.

(176)The proper functioning of the internal market would be jeopardised by the granting of national aid. Therefore, the provisions of the TFEU concerning State aid should, as a general rule, apply to agricultural products. This notwithstanding, in certain situations exceptions should be allowed. Where such exceptions exist, the Commission should be in a position to draw up a list of existing, new or proposed national aid, to make appropriate observations to Member States and to propose suitable measures.

(177)The provisions on the grubbing-up premium and certain measures under wine support programmes should not, in themselves, preclude national payments for the same purposes.

(178)Due to the specific economic situation of the production and marketing of reindeer and reindeer products, Finland and Sweden should continue to grant national payments in that regard.

(179)In Finland, sugar beet growing is subject to particular geographical and climatic conditions which adversely affect the sector in addition to the general effects of the sugar reform. That Member State should therefore be authorised, on a permanent basis, to make national payments to its sugar beet growers.

(180)Member States should be able to make national payments in order to co-finance the apiculture measures laid down under this Regulation, as well as to protect of apiaries disadvantaged by structural or natural conditions or subject to economic development programmes, except national payment allocated for production or trade.

(181)Member States participating in the schemes to improve access to food for children should be able to grant national aid in addition to Union aid for the supply of the products and for certain related costs.

(182)In order to address justified cases of crisis even after the end of the transitional period, Member States should be able to make national payments for crisis distillation within an overall budgetary limit of 15 % of the respective value of the Member State's relevant yearly budget for its national support programme. Such national payments should be notified to the Commission and approved before being granted.

(183)Member States should be allowed to continue to make national payments for nuts as currently provided for under Article 120 of Regulation (EC) No 73/2009, in order to cushion the effects of decoupling of the former Union aid scheme for nuts. In the interest of clarity, since that Regulation is to be repealed, those national payments should be provided for in this Regulation.

(184)Special intervention measures should be provided in order to react efficiently and effectively against threats of market disturbance. The scope of those measures should be defined.

(185)In order to react efficiently and effectively against threats of market disturbance caused by significant price rises or falls on internal or external markets, or other events and circumstances significantly disturbing or threatening to disturb the market, where that situation, or its effects on the market, is likely to continue or deteriorate, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the measures necessary to address that market situation, while respecting any obligations resulting from international agreements and provided that any other measures available under this Regulation appear to be insufficient, including measures to extend or modify the scope, duration or other aspects of other measures provided for under this Regulation, or provide for export refunds, or suspend import duties, in whole or in part, including for certain quantities or periods, as necessary.

(186)Restrictions to free circulation resulting from the application of measures intended to combat the spread of animal diseases could cause difficulties on the market in one or more Member States. Experience shows that serious market disturbances such as a significant drop in consumption or in prices may be attributed to a loss in consumer confidence due to public health or animal or plant health risks. In the light of experience, measures attributable to a loss in consumer confidence should be extended to plant products.

(187)The exceptional market support measures for beef and veal, milk and milk products, pigmeat, sheepmeat and goatmeat, eggs and poultrymeat should be directly related to health and veterinary measures adopted in order to combat the spread of disease. They should be taken at the request of Member States in order to avoid serious disruption on the markets.

(188)In order to react effectively to exceptional circumstances, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of extending the list of products, as set out in this Regulation, in respect of which exceptional support measures may be adopted.

(189)The Commission should be authorised to adopt the necessary measures to solve specific problems in case of emergency.

(190)Reacting efficiently and effectively against threats of market disturbance may be of particular importance for the milk sector. Similarly, specific problems in case of emergency may arise. It is therefore necessary to emphasise that the adoption by the Commission of the above mentioned measures in case of market disturbance, including market imbalance, or those needed to solve specific problems in case of emergency may address in particular the milk sector.

(191)In order to respond to periods of severe market imbalance, specific categories of collective actions by private operators may be appropriate, as exceptional measures, in order to stabilise the sectors concerned, subject to precise safeguards, limits and conditions. Where such actions could fall under the scope of Article 101(1) TFEU, the Commission should be able to provide a derogation for a limited period. These actions should however complement Union action in the framework of public intervention and private storage or exceptional measures envisaged by this Regulation, and should not impair the functioning of the internal market.

(192)It should be possible to require undertakings, Member States or third countries to submit communications for the purposes of applying this Regulation, monitoring, analysing and managing the market in agricultural products, ensuring market transparency and the proper functioning of CAP measures, checking, controlling, monitoring, evaluating and auditing CAP measures, and complying with the requirements laid down in international agreements, including notification requirements under those agreements. In order to ensure a harmonised, streamlined and simplified approach, the Commission should be empowered to adopt the necessary measures regarding communications. In so doing, it should take into account the data needs and synergies between potential data sources.

(193)In order to ensure the integrity of information systems and the authenticity and legibility of documents and associated data transmitted, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the nature and type of the information to be notified; the categories of data to be processed and maximum retention periods; the purpose of processing, in particular in the event of the publication of such data and their transfer to third countries; the access rights to the information or information systems made available; and the conditions of publication of the information.

(194)Union law concerning the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and the free movement of such data, in particular Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (10) and Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council (11) is applicable.

(195)The European Data Protection Supervisor was consulted and delivered an opinion on 14 December 2011 (12).

(196)Funds should be transferred from the Reserve for crises in the agricultural sector under the conditions and procedure referred to in Article 24 of Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013 and paragraph 22 of the Interinstitutional 17 December 2013 Agreement between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management (13), and it should be clarified that this Regulation is the applicable basic act.

(197)In order to ensure the smooth transition from the arrangements provided for in Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 to those laid down in this Regulation, the power to adopt certain acts should be delegated to the Commission in respect of establishing the necessary measures, in particular those necessary to protect the acquired rights and legitimate expectations of undertakings.

(198)The use of urgency procedure when adopting delegated acts under this Regulation should be reserved for exceptional cases where imperative grounds of urgency so require in order to react efficiently and effectively against threats of market disturbance or where market disturbances are occurring. The choice of an urgency procedure should be justified and the cases in which the urgency procedure should be used should be specified.

(199)In order to ensure uniform conditions for the implementation of this Regulation, implementing powers should be conferred on the Commission. Those powers should be exercised in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council (14).

(200)The examination procedure should be used for the adoption of the acts implementing this Regulation given that those acts relate to the CAP as referred to in point (b)(ii) of Article 2(2) of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011. However, the advisory procedure should be used for the adoption of the acts implementing this Regulation relating to competition matters given that the advisory procedure is used in general for the adoption of implementing acts in the field of competition law.

(201)The Commission should adopt immediately applicable implementing acts relating to adopting, amending or revoking Union safeguard measures, to suspending the use of processing or inward or outward processing arrangements, if that is necessary to react immediately to the market situation, and to resolving specific problems, in an emergency, which need to be dealt with immediately, where, in duly justified cases, imperative grounds of urgency so require.

(202)In respect of certain measures under this Regulation which require swift action or which consist in the mere application of general provisions to specific situations without involving a discretion, the Commission should be empowered to adopt implementing acts without applying Regulation (EU) No 182/2011.

(203)The Commission should further be empowered to carry out certain administrative or management tasks which do not entail the adoption of delegated or implementing acts.

(204)This Regulation should provide for certain specific rules concerning Croatia in accordance with the Act of Accession of Croatia (15).

(205)Pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007, several measures by sector will expire within a reasonable period following the entry in force of this Regulation. After the repeal of Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007, the relevant provisions should continue to apply until the end of the schemes concerned.

(206)Council Regulation (EEC) No 922/72 (16) concerning aid for silkworms for the 1972/1973 rearing year is now obsolete; Regulation (EEC) No 234/79 concerning the procedures for adjusting the Common Customs Tariff nomenclature is superseded by this Regulation; Council Regulation (EC) No 1601/96 (17) concerning aid to hops producers for the 1995 harvest is a temporary measure, which, by its nature, is now obsolete. Council Regulation (EC) No 1037/2001 (18) authorising the offer and delivery of certain imported wines has been superseded by the provisions of the Agreement between the European Community and the United States of America on trade in wine adopted by Council Decision 2006/232/EC (19), and is therefore obsolete. In the interests of clarity and legal certainty, those Regulations should be repealed.

(207)Certain rules in the milk and milk products sector, in particular those concerning contractual relations and negotiations; regulation of the supply of cheese with a protected designation of origin or protected geographical indication; and declarations by first purchasers, producer organisations, associations of producer organisations and interbranch organisations have recently entered into force and remain justified in the current economic circumstances of the dairy market and the structure of the supply chain. They should therefore be applied in that sector for a sufficiently long period (both before and after the abolition of milk quotas) to allow them to have full effect. However, those rules should be temporary in nature and should be subject to review. The Commission should adopt reports on the development of the milk market, covering, in particular, potential incentives to encourage farmers to enter into joint production agreements, the first of which is to be submitted by 30 June 2014, and the second by 31 December 2018,