About this consultation

Consultation period
17 July 2018 - 9 October 2018
Maritime affairs and fisheries

Consultation outcome

155 replies were received.

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Target group

All citizens and the wider stakeholder community are welcome to express their views. We particularly seek contributions from those directly affected, namely:

  • EU Member States administrations dealing with marketing standards
  • Producers and associations thereof
  • Processors and associations thereof
  • Importers
  • Operators in the supply chain (e.g. retailers – including fishmongers) and wholesalers
  • Fish auctions
  • Small and Medium Enterprises

Objective of the consultation

This Public Consultation aims to gather input from all relevant stakeholders, including consumers. It provides the opportunity to evaluate and gather feedback on the marketing standards in the fishery and aquaculture sector as a tool to ensure supply of sustainable products to the EU market, fair competition among operators and improved profitability of the fishery sector as well as a level-playing field between EU and imported products.

How to submit your response

The online questionnaire takes about 15 minutes to complete.

You may also submit documents, such as position papers, together with your answers. Any such documents will be taken into account when analysing the results.

The online questionnaire is available in all official EU languages except Irish.

View the questionnaire


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Additional information

Context of the consultation

EU marketing standards define specific quality requirements for EU and non-EU fishery products that are placed on the EU internal market. Their objectives are as follows:

  1. Ensuring that the EU market is supplied with sustainable products
  2. Applying uniform and transparent criteria throughout the single market
  3. Guaranteeing fair competition in the single market, and
  4. Improving the profitability of production.

The current marketing standards cover some fresh and chilled products, preserved tuna and bonito and preserved sardines and sardine-like products. EU marketing standards are mandatory requirements along the supply chain (between producers, retailers and potential intermediaries) but they do not reach consumers.

For fresh products, marketing standards define minimum sizes and quality, as well as freshness grades (Extra, A and B) and size categories (1, 2, 3, …, depending on the species). Freshness grades are based on organoleptic criteria (e.g. skin colour, eye, texture).

For preserved tunas and bonitos and for sardines and sardine-like products, EU marketing standards include: (1) authorized species, (2) detailed description of commercial presentation (e.g. for tuna: solid, chunks, fillets, flakes, shredded; for sardines: without bones, without skin, fillets, chunks...), (3) definitions for culinary preparation (in olive oil, natural, in vegetable oil, tomato sauce, marinade...), and (4) minimum ratio between the weight in the container after sterilization and the net weight.

The current evaluation of EU marketing standards seeks therefore to assess the extent to which the existing marketing standards are still fit for purpose.

Transparency Register

In the interests of transparency, organisations have been invited to provide the public with relevant information about themselves by registering in the Transparency Register and subscribing to its Code of Conduct. If the organisation is not registered, the submission is published separately from the registered organisations.

Protection of personal data

Specific privacy statement

The policy on "protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions" is based on Regulation (EC) N° 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000. See more on personal data protection provisions here.

Please, note that regardless of the option chosen, your contribution may be subject to a request for access to documents under Regulation 1049/2001 on public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents. In this case, the request will be assessed against the conditions set out in the Regulation and in accordance with applicable data protection rules.