EU Commission plans to extend tariff exemption for Ukraine produce

The European Commission announced on Wednesday it is planning to extend the lifting of quotas and tariffs on Ukrainian exports to the European Union until June 2025.

The move renews a past suspension set to expire in June 2024 but with the addition of certain emergency measures, after a controversy surrounding exports of grain and other agricultural goods to the bloc last year.

EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said the suspension “strikes the right balance” between supporting Ukraine against the Russian invasion and protecting EU farmers’ interests.

Based on the major increase of exports from Ukraine between 2022 and 2023, the new suspension contains emergency provisions to stabilize the EU market in case of major disruption, the commission said.

According to the EU’s executive arm, should Ukrainian exports dramatically increase for the most sensitive agriculture goods like eggs, sugar and poultry, tariffs can be reimposed to stabilize imports at average import volumes in 2022 and 2023.

EU tariffs were first lifted in 2022 in solidarity with Ukraine. However controls were imposed on Ukrainian grain products exported to Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Romania, following protests from farmers in the domestic agricultural industry.

These controls were eventually lifted in September however Poland, Hungary and Slovakia introduced import bans of their own.

Similar tariff suspension were introduced for Moldova in 2022. The commission also proposed lifting tariffs again for Moldova until 2025.

The European Parliament and the 27 EU member states are now set to scrutinize the proposals.

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