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As part of its reform of the common market organisation (CMO) for certain agricultural products, the European Union overhauled its approach to the promotion, quality and marketing standards for fresh and processed fruit and vegetables. Provisions for a management committee that apply to the fruit and vegetable sector as well as a range of other agricultural products came into effect on the 1st January 2008 under Council Regulation (EC) No. 1234/2007 (no longer in force).

In parallel to the negotiations and adoption of the Single CMO Regulation, the EU also negotiated and adopted policy reform in the fruit and vegetables and processed fruit and vegetables sectors. To that end, Council Regulation (EC) No 1182/2007 of 26 September 2007 laying down specific rules as regards the fruit and vegetable sector was adopted. These policy decisions are incorporated into Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 via the amending Regulation (EC) No 361/2008 of 14 April 2008.

While the previous rules have been repealed, specific marketing standards drawn up pursuant to those rules, i.e., Regulation (EC) No 2200/96 and Regulation (EC) No 2201/96 will continue to apply until new ones are adopted. Regulation (EC) No 1580/2007 (no longer in force) which implemented these previous rules has been amended significantly to take account of the policy changes and it reduces the number of specific marketing standards from 36 to 10 while it also contains a general marketing standard which applies to other fruit and vegetables.

EU marketing standards are aligned with international standards, as pursued by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and they apply to products marketed within the EU and as well as to their import and export.