Export Refunds

Export refunds are subsidies, which may be paid in respect of beef, live cattle, milk and milk products, sugar, cereals, pigmeat, poultry and egg products and certain processed products that are exported outside the EU. The amount of the subsidy, which can vary depending on the destination of the product, is designed to cover the difference between the EU market price and the lower world market prices and to take account of the high input of raw material prices obtained in the European Union. The scheme enables EU exporters to better compete on world markets.

There are horizontal and sectoral EU regulations that govern licensing and the export refunds
scheme. An exporter requires an export licence in order to export these products and to apply for export refunds. There are various conditions that apply to licensing and refunds
including quantities, time limits, securities, etc. that the exporter must comply with.

Applications for refunds comprise export declarations, which are sent in the first place to the customs authority (i.e. the Revenue Commissioners). These export declarations (known as SADs) are then validated and forwarded to the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine. Payment declarations for export refunds are submitted online using Revenue’s Online Service (ROS).

Aid For Private Storage

Aid for Private Storage (APS) is a market support measure introduced by the EU Commission for certain products when trade imbalances arise between supply and demand, or when the market price falls below a benchmark level in any EU Member State. Products eligible for APS schemes include butter, skimmed milk powder (SMP), cheese, long flax fibre, olive oil and pigmeat.

The aim of APS is to facilitate applicants to store these products for a stipulated storage period. At the end of the storage period the applicant receives aid at a rate which has been fixed in advance.

APS is an alternative to public intervention in that the product remains the property of the scheme applicants to sell at their unrestricted discretion at the end of the storage period.


The intervention system for cereals, which is a market support scheme, is open between 1 November and 31 May of the following year, subject to a minimum quantity being offered and the grain reaching the quality specifications laid down. Bonuses or deductions are made depending on the quality of the grain.

Butter and Skimmed Milk Powder (SMP)

The intervention system for butter and skimmed milk powder (SMP) is designed to support prices for basic products by removing surpluses of butter and SMP from the market. Intervention purchasing for butter is triggered in an EU Member State when the market price falls below 92% of the butter intervention price for two weeks in succession. Butter is bought only when the facility is open at 90% of the intervention price. Buying-in will cease once the quantities offered Community-wide exceed 30,000 tonnes.

In such cases, buying-in may take place using a tendering system. Intervention purchasing of butter is suspended when the reported market price for butter is equal to or higher than 92% of intervention price for two consecutive weeks. Intervention buying-in for SMP operates from March to August each year, however, this period may be extended by the Commission. Quantities up to a limit of 109,000 tonnes per year may be purchased at the intervention price – thereafter a tendering system may apply.


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Draft Articles; The articles on this website are in draft form and are subject to further review for typographical errors and, in some cases, updating and correction. It is intended to include references to the sources of materials and acknowledgements in the final version. The content of articles with [EU] in the title and some of the articles in the section on Agriculture are a reproduction of or are based on European or Irish public sector information.

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