According to national declarations, twelve Member States – Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria and Poland - exceeded their national milk quotas for deliveries in the 2014/2015 quota year by a total of 2 938 000 tonnes, and must therefore pay a surplus levy totalling roughly € 818 million.
This amount reflects the fact that total deliveries [adjusted for butterfat content] across the EU in 2014/15 increased by 2.7% - or nearly 3.9 million tonnes – relative to 2013/14.
In addition, Belgium and the Netherlands overshot their direct sales quota respectively by 529t (1.6%) and 1 990t (2.6%) and face an additional levy of respectively € 147 000 and € 554 000.
To ease the financial burden for producers who have to pay a surplus levy related to the milk quota year 2014/2015, Member States have been given the possibility to collect the amount due under a three year instalment scheme at zero interest rate.
The surplus production of the Member States exceeding their national quotas accounts for 1.9% of total milk quota available, both for deliveries and direct sales (1.0% in the previous milk quota year). 16 Member States remained under quota, with 12 of them more than 10% below their quota for deliveries.
How the system works
The dairy quota system was introduced in the 1980s in order to address problems of surplus production.
Each Member State had two quotas, one for deliveries to dairies (97.7% of EU total), and the other one for direct sales at farm level (2.3%).
These quantities were distributed among producers (individual quotas) in each Member State.
Where a Member State exceeded its national quota, a surplus levy of € 27.83 per 100kg is payable in the Member State concerned, paid by the producers in proportion to their contribution to the overrun during the quota year (1 April - 31 March).
These figures are established after a redistribution of non-used quota of other producers.
The amounts generated by the surplus levy are paid into the European Agricultural Guidance Fund (EAGF) section of the EU budget as Assigned Revenue.
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