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EU extends trade support for Ukraine with protections for farmers

The European Parliament and Council have reached a provisional agreement to extend duty-free access for Ukrainian agricultural products until June 2025. This move aims to support Ukraine's economy while including safeguards to prevent disruption to European markets.

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The agreement renews the suspension of import duties and quotas on Ukrainian goods, initially implemented in 2022 to support the country during Russia’s invasion. The European Commission retains the authority to swiftly intervene and impose measures if Ukrainian imports cause significant market disruption.

Additional protections were secured for sensitive European agricultural products like poultry, eggs, and sugar. This list was expanded at the Parliament’s request to include oats, maize, groats, and honey. Notably, the agreement includes a firmer commitment from the Commission to address a potential surge in Ukrainian wheat imports.

An “emergency brake” mechanism has been established. If imports of these designated products exceed the average volumes recorded in 2022 and 2023, tariffs will be reintroduced. MEPs also negotiated a faster response time from the Commission, reducing the timeframe for implementing safeguard measures from 21 days to 14 days.

“This agreement strengthens the EU’s unwavering support for Ukraine during this brutal war,” said Sandra Kalniete (EPP, LV), the report’s rapporteur. “While we stand with Ukraine, we must also consider the concerns of European farmers. These bolstered safeguards will alleviate pressure on them in case of a sudden influx of Ukrainian imports.”