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EU levy refund secured for British beet sugar industry

16 April 2018


Sugar Beet Field

Sugar beet growers are collectively owed millions of pounds in overpaid levies, after an ECJ ruling confirmed that growers were historically overcharged by the EU Commission using a ‘flawed method’ for calculating the now discontinued levy.

Growers of sugar beet during 1999 and 2000 are entitled to a repayment of both the overpayment, and the interest accrued.

Growers will receive a form from British Sugar to fill out in order to receive their repayment. Any grower who believes they are entitled to a refund and does not receive a letter is urged to contact the helpline British Sugar has set up on 01733 422153 in order to apply for the repayment.  The refund, approximately £6 million in total, is split roughly equally between growers and British Sugar.

Sugar processors in the EU challenged this historic over-calculation and succeeded in getting it revised after taking it through the European courts. British Sugar will make the repayments to growers, while the Rural Payments Agency will be responsible for making the repayment to British Sugar.  

Paul Kenward, Managing Director of British Sugar said:

“I am pleased we are able to confirm to growers, that after a considerable period of time, we can refund the right money to the right growers. We’ve written to all growers asking them to complete a simple form so that we can submit the claims to the RPA, and we’d urge growers to return this to British Sugar as soon as possible”

Michael Sly, Chair, NFU Sugar said:

“NFU Sugar is working closely with British Sugar to help ensure the c8500 growers of sugar beet at the time get a refund. British Sugar asked that the costs of administering this refund to growers is covered by the grower base and I am pleased to confirm that NFU Sugar will cover these costs on behalf of growers.

We urge all growers to look out for correspondence from NFU Sugar and British Sugar, and return the form they receive in order to apply for their refund. Growers can contact the dedicated helpline if they do not receive one or are in any doubt. The clock is ticking and we don’t want any grower to miss out”

British Sugar and NFU Sugar are working closely with the RPA and hope to receive the payment around the end of September 2018. The repayment to growers will then come from British Sugar. If a grower has any questions British Sugar has set up a helpline - 01733 422153.

-ends-




Notes to editors:

Contacts:

For further information please contact:

Ruth Day                                                                                     Sam Ette

ruth.day@britishsugar.com                                                         sam.ette@nfu.org.uk

07864 800406                                                                             02476 858686

  • The EU Commission calculated the levies in 1999/00 and 2000/01 using a flawed method that over-charged the amount.  Sugar processors in the EU challenged this and have succeeded in getting it revised following a number of EU court cases.  A proportion of the levy from the 1999 and 2000 crop years is therefore being repaid via the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).
  • Prior to 2006, the EU Commission collected a levy from all EU sugar processors to pay for the export of sugar outside the EU, with contributions by beet growers via a deduction from the beet price. 
  • In 2013, British Sugar obtained a refund of levy payments between 2001 and 2005 that the EU Commission had over-charged prior to the regime change that took place in 2006.
  • The beet sugar industry has continued to pursue the refund of the excess levies for the two years prior to 2001. The NFU have agreed to administer the claim on behalf of growers in order to meet the regulatory deadline of 30th September 2018.
  • Further information for growers can be found on the NFU Sugar website https://www.nfuonline.com/sectors/nfu-sugar/
  • For more information on British Sugar visit  www.britishsugar.com or @BritishSugar
  • For more information on NFU Sugar visit www.nfusugar.com or @NFUSugar
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