The word « victualling » means “to provide with food” or “to lay in food supplies”. It also refers to “food supplies and provisions” and therefore is one of the core activities of modern ship suppliers. OCEAN favours restoring export refund arrangements for ship supplies to obtain a level playing field with products from non EU-origin. Ship Suppliers are directly confronted with international competition which has increased intensively as a result of the falling price of milk products. Because of this competition, competitiveness of EU products suffers from aconsiderable handicap. As a result of this, the fact that Ship Supplying operations are not eligible for export refunds finds expression in either a loss of market shares or a supplying in products from non-EU origin. Yet, not only the volumes at stake are high but also its’ price is high compared with the added value of the requested products. Given this, if ships were supplied with products originating in the EU and ship supplying operations qualified for export refunds, this would have beneficial effects on the market in milk and milk products. On the other hand, the fact that ship supplying is not included anymore in the scope of Regulation (EC) No 57/2009 makes the competitive position of EU Ship Suppliers worse. Indeed, the objective of the export refund scheme is to support the market price. This objective tends to widen the gap between EU prices and world prices to the detriment of Ship Suppliers.
In this contect, COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 800/1999 of 15 April 1999 lays down common detailed rules for the application of the system of export refunds on agricultural products. In paragraph (48) Whereas the “very specialised trade” of the business of delivering ship supplies which warrants special arrangements, in this case for the advance of refunds. Paragraph (50) states that in order to maintain the competitiveness of Community goods supplied to platforms in certain areas close to Member States, refunds should be made available at the rate applicable to victualling within the Community […] whereas subject to adequate control measures being specified it would appear reasonable to apply to deliveries the rate of refund for victualling within the Community. Most importantly, Article 36 must be cited, which can be found under “OTHER TYPES OF EXPORT AND SPECIAL CASES - CHAPTER 1” - Destinations treated as exports from the Community, and victualling. It states that
1. For the purposes of this Regulation, the following shall be treated as exports from the customs territory of the Community: (a) supplies within the Community for victualling to: - seagoing vessels.
This regulation therefore recognizing the close connection of ship supply and export operations. Please download the full text here:
COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 800/1999 of 15 April 1999 lays down common detailed rules for the application of the system of export refunds on agricultural products