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EU proposes to extend free imports to Ukraine, but limits volumes

The European Commission is proposing to extend the suspension of import duties and quotas on Ukrainian exports to the European Union for another year, but this time with built-in safeguards to balance the interests of Ukrainian and EU farmers.

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The suspension of import duties and quotas on Ukrainian exports to the European Union was initially introduced in June 2022 to support Ukraine in the face of the challenges posed by Russia’s war of aggression.

Now, the EU stresses that it commits to supporting Ukraine for “as long as it takes”.

The renewed ATMs aim to strike a balance between supporting Ukraine and addressing sensitivities among EU farmers and stakeholders.

Notably, there is a reinforced safeguard mechanism to allow quick remedial action in case of significant disruptions to the EU market or the markets of specific Member States.

For certain sensitive agricultural products such as poultry, eggs, and sugar, an emergency brake is introduced, stabilizing imports at the average levels of 2022 and 2023. If these product imports exceed those volumes, tariffs may be reimposed.

Additionally, the Commission proposes to extend the suspension of all remaining duties on Moldovan imports for another year, starting from July 2022. This extension is intended to continue supporting Moldova in reorienting its exports via the EU due to disruptions caused by Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine.

The proposals will be subject to consideration by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. The goal is to ensure a smooth transition from the current regime of ATMs to the new one by the expiration dates in June 2024 for Ukraine and July 2024 for Moldova.

“The EU must continue to show solidarity with Ukraine and Moldova in the face of Russia’s continuing aggression. This proposal strikes the right balance: we are maintaining our economic support for both countries, while taking EU farmers’ interests and sensitivities fully into account. This will achieve the dual objective of helping to keep Ukraine’s and Moldova’s economies going, while at the same time having stronger safeguards to prevent market disruptions in the EU,” comments Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trad, on the proposal.