Historically, bananas from the Windward Islands were exported to the UK under preferential conditions. Such conditions were incorporated into the first EC/ACP Lomé Convention in 1975. Successive Lomé Conventions continued the preferences granted to the traditional ACP banana producing States including the Windward Islands.
Over the last decade, however, there have been numerous challenges by Latin American countries within the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement mechanism, to the EU's preferential ACP banana regime, as Latin American countries sought more access to the EU market. On 15 December 2009, the EU agreed to gradually cut its import tariff on bananas from Latin American countries from 176 eruos per tonne to EUR 114 per tonne by 2017 at the earliest. This effectively ended a 15 year dispute over EU banana imports, as the US agreed to resolve its related WTO dispute with the EU.
To help ACP banana exporters adjust to the new trading arrangements, the European Commission has established a support package for banana exporters from African, Caribbean and Pacific states, called the Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM). Dominica has been allocated EUR 15.27 million under the BAM. Execution of the support package takes into account each country's specific situation and focuses on boosting the banana sector's competitiveness, promoting economic diversification and addressing broader social, economic and environmental issues. Banana Accompanying Measures are being provided in addition to development aid from the European Development Fund. Under the EPA, traditional ACP banana producers now enjoy duty free, quota free access to the EU market.
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