§ Sir Teddy Taylor
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the purpose is of the import duties charged by the EU for the import of fruit and vegetables, with particular reference to(a) peas, (b) pineapples, (c) honeydew melons, (d) apricots, (e) strawberries, (f) raspberries and (g) sugar; what criteria were used for setting the level of import duty in each case; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Bradshaw
[holding answer 18 September 2003]: The purpose of import duties on fruit and vegetables is to prevent or counteract adverse effects on the market in the Community which may result from imports of these products. The duty rates applied are those set out in the Common Customs Tariff and are reviewed from time to time as a consequence of international negotiations. Variations in the amount of duty paid reflect seasonal factors and the declared or standard value of the produce.