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EU Extends Free Trade with Ukraine but with Additional Restrictions on Agricultural Products

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Photo: EU extends free trade with Ukraine but with additional restrictions on agricultural products. Source: Collage The Gaze \ by Leonid Lukashenko
Photo: EU extends free trade with Ukraine but with additional restrictions on agricultural products. Source: Collage The Gaze \ by Leonid Lukashenko

The Council of the European Union, the European Commission and the European Parliament have agreed on new terms of preferential trade with Ukraine. The extension of the agreement on preferential trade with Ukraine contains tighter restrictions on imports of certain agricultural products. They now have to be voted on separately by European parliamentarians, according to the Council of Europe's website.

As a reminder, the new terms of trade were agreed at the level of permanent representatives of the EU countries in late March. They provide for the continuation of duty-free imports of Ukrainian agricultural goods, but limit them for poultry, eggs, sugar, corn, cereals and honey to the level of the average volumes observed between mid-2021 and the end of 2023.

EU efforts to restrict Ukrainian agricultural imports have been led by Poland and France.

Experts see the current discussions in the EU on trade preferences for Ukraine as a harbinger of difficult negotiations on the Ukrainian agricultural sector in the process of Ukraine's accession to the EU.

The Regulation will apply from 6 June 2024 to 5 June 2025 and concerns the long-term suspension of all unpaid customs duties and quotas under Title IV of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement (DCFTA).

The Regulation will also include two safeguard mechanisms to protect the EU market:

an enhanced version of the existing mechanism, which will be applied on the basis of regular monitoring, allowing the Commission to apply any measure subject to specific conditions;

a new automatic safeguard mechanism that will oblige the Commission to re-impose tariff quotas if imports of poultry, eggs, sugar, oats, corn, cereals and honey exceed the arithmetic average of the volumes imported in the second half of 2021, 2022 and 2023. .

Autonomous Trade Measures (ATMs) will allow Ukraine to continue to generate its own revenues from trade flows with the EU, which is important for supporting its economy. Combined with significant EU military, financial and humanitarian support, this will help Ukraine in its long-term recovery, as well as its gradual integration into the EU's internal market.

As previously reported by The Gaze, the UK has extended duty-free trade with Ukraine until 2029, and Poland will insure investors involved in Ukraine's reconstruction.

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