EU intends to extend tariff-free admission for Ukrainian grain


(MENAFN) The European Commission has put forth a proposal to extend the suspension of customs duties on agricultural goods from Ukraine and Moldova for an additional year, according to Vice President Margaritis Schinas. Initially implemented in 2022 to support Ukraine following the Russian military operation, the tariff-free regime is set to expire on June 5 for Ukraine and July 24 for Moldova. The proposed extension aims to keep this arrangement in place until June 2025.

Despite the original intention to assist Ukraine, the tariff suspension has faced opposition from farmers in some European Union member states who protest against the influx of cheaper Ukrainian produce affecting local markets. In May 2023, five Eastern European European Union members—Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Slovakia—unilaterally banned imports of Ukrainian grain in response to these concerns.

Recognizing the challenges posed by the tariff suspension, the European Commission's latest proposal incorporates measures for "quick remedial action" in the event of significant disruptions to the European Union market. Specifically, an emergency brake is outlined for the most sensitive products such as poultry, eggs, and sugar. This provision would stabilize imports at the average volumes recorded in 2022 and 2023, allowing for the reimposition of tariffs if imports surpass specified thresholds.

As the proposal undergoes consideration, its potential impact on European Union-Ukraine relations, internal market dynamics, and the broader agricultural trade landscape remains a subject of keen observation.

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