French senate nixes palm
oil tax

Local palm oil exporters will face no barriers in entering the French market after the French senate rejected a proposal that would have quadrupled import taxes on the commodity, Deputy Trade Minister Bayu Krisnamurthi said on Sunday.

The French senate recently rejected language in the 2013 national budget that contained a proposal to raise the existing import tax of ¤100 (US$129.27) per ton of palm oil to ¤400.

The proposal was dubbed the “Nutella tax”, and was introduced following health concerns raised on consumption of palm oil.

“In the future, we will continue to cooperate with relevant stakeholders, including palm oil importers in Europe, to provide objective views on palm oil,” Bayu, who earlier this month took part in an open debate on crude palm oil organized by the French parliament, said.

Separately, Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association executive director Fadhil Hasan said that the government should set up a palm oil council to accommodate the industry’s concerns about major palm oil export destinations, including the European Union, where various issues hamper entry of local exporters.

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