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First go-ahead to renewing trade support for Ukraine and Moldova

07.03.2024 20:41 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) Duties and quotas temporarily suspended to support Ukraine amidst Russias war of aggression

MEPs agreed to extend trade liberalisation measures for Moldova for another year

Safeguard measures protect EU farmers in case of market disruptions

MEPs on the International Trade Committee endorsed the extension of trade liberalisation measures to support Ukraine and Moldova in the face of Russias war.

MEPs approved on Thursday, by 26votes, with 10against and 1abstentions, a proposal to renew the temporary suspension of import duties and quotas on Ukrainian agricultural exports to the EU for another year, from 6June 2024to 5June 2025, to support Ukraine amidst Russias continuing war of aggression against the country.

The legislation empowers the Commission to take swift action and impose any necessary measures should there be significant disruptions to the EU market, or to the markets of one or more EU countries due to Ukrainian imports. It also provides for an emergency brake for particularly sensitive agricultural products, namely poultry, eggs, and sugar, meaning that if imports of these products surpass the average 2022and 2023volumes, tariffs would be re-imposed.

The liberalising measures are conditional on Ukraines respect for democratic principles, human rights, the rule of law, and its sustained efforts to fight corruption and organised crime.

Parliament is expected to vote on its first reading position during next weeks plenary session. If Parliament adopts its first reading position, the Council will then formally approve the regulation, and it will enter into force after being published in the EU Official Journal.

The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, has ensured that Ukrainian businesses have preferential access to the EU market since 2016. In the immediate aftermath of the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the EU put in place autonomous trade measures (ATMs) in June 2022, which allow duty-free access for all Ukrainian products to the EU market. These measures were extended by one year in June 2023and are set to expire on 5June 2024.

On 31January 2024, the EU Commission proposed that import duties and quotas on Ukrainian and Moldovan exports should be suspended for another year. Russia has deliberately targeted Ukrainian food production and Black Sea exporting facilities to undermine the countrys economy and threaten global food security.

Total EU imports from Ukraine amounted to 24.3billion in the 12months to October 2023compared to pre-war levels in 2021of 24billion, according to the Commission.

Source: European Parliament

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