EU rice producers are lobbying for increased protection from third country imports. European Commission proposals for a reform of the union's rice market regime include a threat to speciality varieties, such as Basmati, for which third country exporters, like as India and Pakistan, enjoy a zero tariff rate. This concession would be lost under the commission's proposal. If governments of EU rice producing countries get their way, all Asian rices, which make up the bulk of consumption in northern Europe, could cost more because of heavier import charges. The commission view ­ that excessive imports have caused intervention stocks to grow ­ is disputed by the UK and other countries that consume and import. They argue that imported rice is a different variety to EU-grown rice which is unsuitable for most dishes eaten in European versions of Asian cuisine. EU countries produce mainly the Japonica type, while imports are primarily long grain. Member states are divided. Southern European producing nations support higher import tariffs while consumer nations want to keep prices down. Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece want import tariffs to rise to the 260 euro/t limit allowed under the World Trade Organisation agreements. The same countries are also opposing a commission proposal to abolish intervention buying, which creates large stocks which cannot be sold within the EU. They say compensation will be inadequate under commission proposals for increased subsidies. {{PROVISIONS }}