Sweden Proposes EU Removes Import Tariff on Ethanol

Citing the increasing demand for renewable fuels including ethanol based fuels towards a cleaner environment. Swedish Trade Minister Mr Sten Tolgfors in a statement on 9 July 2007 said the EU commissioner Peter Mandelson had proposed a zero tariff on environment products and renewable fuels.
The EU has set a binding target that biofuels are to make up 10 percent of the transport fuel supply by 2020.
Ethanol, produced from sugar cane, grain or sugar beet, emits less carbon dioxide than the conventional fuels.
Tolgfors said ethanol produced in Brazil came at almost half the cost of European-produced ethanol and yet it was met by a tariff that evened out the price levels. And the value of the tariff is currently between 40 and 75 percent, depending on the price of ethanol.
“It seems inconsistent to prevent imports of cost-effective ethanol at a time when the EU is trying to expand use of this fuel,” he added.
Since the demand for biodiesel and ethanol is likely to climb considerably, both due to increasing interest in blending ethanol with gasoline for cars and for fuelling ethanol-powered cars, he said a larger number of producing countries was also needed.
“In a longer time of frame, second generation cellulose-based ethanol production is likely to make European ethanol production more effective, and so competitive on the world market.”
He said there was also a need for a comprehensive and consistent market-oriented policy on biofuels in the EU and he was currently on a world tour to promote the creation of a world market for biofuels.

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