Europe's plan to ban palm oil could fall at the first hurdle

07.08.2017

European Union's resolutions to ban the use of palm oil in various consumer products including palm biodiesel, could fall at the first hurdle.

Malaysian government is also at the final stage of discussion with carmakers in the country over the use of 10 per cent blend of palm methyl esters (B10) in biodiesel fuel for their diesel-powered vehicles from B7.

With these new developments, the government has become more optimistic about its palm oil exports to EU as well as introducing the use of B10 nationwide.

The government is set to introduce B7 for manufacturing industries in Malaysia from B0 initially. However, there is no definite timing on when it will come into force.

Ambassador and head of the EU delegation to Malaysia Maria Castillo Fernandez has sent out a letter to Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong, saying that European Commission, which is involved in the law-making process, agreed that some resolutions on palm oil products are based on inaccurate facts.

"The ambassador (Maria Castillo) has sent me the letter. The European Commission has agreed that some resolutions are inaccurate. We are going to meet next month to discuss this matter further," Mah told a press conference here.

Malaysia's exports of palm oil and palm products to the EU was valued at RM10.23 billion last year, which accounted for 15 per cent of the total exports.

Mah said the most recent policies including European Parliament's vote to introduce a single certification scheme for palm oil entering the EU market and also phase out the use of palm biodiesel by 2020, will bring hurt Malaysia's exports to the European countries.

"In light of these favourable policies, we must work harder as a country and collectively with other palm oil producing countries to address the threats," he said.

On implementation of B10, Malaysia has faced a setback with carmakers reluctant to extend the warranty for the use of B10 due to safety and quality issue.

Mah has stressed that the B10 is safe and stable, and will not damage engine performance as it has undergone several testings under Malaysian Palm Oil Board.

"For instance, since January 2014, Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur has been testing biodiesel in its vehicle fleet with as many as 50 vehicles using up to 10 per cent of PME with diesel, clocking more than three million kilometres without any problems.

"Therefore, I am confident that B10 can be implemented without any technical problem to the vehicles," he said.


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