(Jan. 30) Effective Feb. 1, the European Commission plans to adopt a new system of import licenses for apples, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

The Jan. 24 report said the license system is meant to give timely transmission of data on EU apple imports.

EU officials are particularly concerned about imports from the Southern Hemisphere.

Last summer, a flood of apple imports from Southern Hemisphere countries caused apple growers in France to complain that the EU was failing to keep up with the flow of apple imports.

Additional tariffs are triggered on EU apple imports if volumes exceed predetermined levels.

For 2006, the trigger level for additional duties on imports arriving from Jan. 1 through Sept. 1 is 805,913 metric tons.