In late September 2017, in anticipation of the 29th round of EU-Mercosur FTA negotiations (2-6 October 2017), 11 EU Member States expressed strong concerns about the Commission's plans to exchange beef and ethanol tariff offers with Mercosur (and to insist on robust provisions on environmental and sanitary standards), but the Commission nevertheless went ahead and made such offers, as it was clear that Mercosur countries insisted on getting these offers and would otherwise block the negotiations. The report of the 29th round shows that various issues remained outstanding after that round. The report of the 30th round (6-10 November 2017) notes that 14 working groups met and the two sides are preparing for an exchange of improved market access offers. A further round was to be held from 29 November to 5 December 2017.
The aim of the European Commission and Mercosur negotiators is to conclude these talks by the end of 2017. It is unclear how realistic that is, and certain senior officials in late November 2017 started managing expectations by indicating that the discussions may well run into 2018. In particular, tariff liberalisation on beef continues to cause excitement among various EU Member States, with a group of 9 countries, including France and Ireland, protesting again in October 2017 against plans by the Commission to offer a 70,000 ton tariff quota, and expressing similar concerns over the EU's offer on ethanol, sugar and poultry. On the other hand, another group of 8 EU Member States with important non-agricultural interests, including the UK, Italy, Spain and Germany, issued a letter of support to the Commission to make certain offers so as to allow the negotiations to conclude soon. The European Sugar Refineries Association and the European Sugar Users have called on the Commission to grant sugar tariff quotas to ensure the reliability of sugar supplies to the EU.
Meanwhile, in early October 2017, it was revealed that EU food safety inspectors issued a negative report after their visit to Brazil in May 2017, following a scandal involving the sale of rotten produce. They consider that Brazilian control systems for poultry and horse meat are inadequate and that this compromises the reliability of export certification of these products.
Origin rules for cars and machinery and car tariffs also remain controversial outstanding issues under the negotiations, as do animal welfare, antimicrobial resistance and geographical indications.