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EU continues suspension of import duties and quotas on Ukrainian agricultural products 

The European Parliament has voted to extend trade support measures for Ukraine while introducing safeguards to protect European Union farmers.

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By a margin of 428 votes to 131, with 44 abstentions, MEPs approved the suspension of import duties and quotas on Ukrainian agricultural products for another year, until June 5th, 2025. This move aims to bolster Ukraine’s economy in the face of Russia’s ongoing war.

The new regulation empowers the European Commission to take swift action if Ukrainian imports significantly disrupt the EU market or individual member states. This could include measures like quotas or even re-imposing tariffs on specific goods, such as wheat.

Additionally, MEPs strengthened safeguard mechanisms for sensitive agricultural products like poultry, eggs, sugar, oats, groats, maize, and honey. If imports of these products exceed the average volume recorded between the second half of 2021 and the end of 2023, tariffs can be reintroduced.

The agreement includes a commitment from the Commission to initiate talks with Ukraine on permanent trade liberalisation shortly, with close involvement from the European Parliament.

“Extending trade support measures underscores the EU’s unwavering solidarity with Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression. This vote will simultaneously strengthen Ukraine’s economic resilience and safeguard the interests of European farmers. We stand by our promises – we will support Ukraine until its victory and eventual accession to the EU and NATO,” said Sandra Kalniete, the rapporteur for the legislation.

The regulation now requires formal approval by the Council of the European Union. The current trade measures expire on June 5th, 2024, and the new regulation is expected to come into effect immediately after that date.