MEPs renew trade support measures for Ukraine
- Measures concern agricultural products
- The current measures expire on 5 June 2023
- The EU is Ukraine’s most important trading partner
Parliament gave its green light to suspending EU import duties on Ukrainian exports of agricultural products for another year to support the country’s economy.
MEPs approved on Tuesday, by 537 votes, with 42 against and 38 abstentions, a proposal to renew the suspension of import duties, anti-dumping duties and safeguards on Ukrainian exports to the European Union for another year, against the background of Russia’s war of aggression that is hampering Ukraine’s ability to trade with the rest of the world.
The suspension of tariffs applies to fruits and vegetables subject to the entry price system, as well as agricultural products and processed agricultural products subject to tariff-rate quotas. Industrial products are subject to zero duties since 1 January 2023 under the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, so they are not included in the new proposal.
“I strongly support renewing the trade-liberalisation measures that currently help ensure Ukrainian trade can continue amidst the brutal war caused by Russia. These measures are pivotal to strengthening Ukraine’s resilience, as we work to advance Ukraine’s gradual integration into the EU internal market. Our solidarity with Ukraine is consistent, transparent, and rock-solid, and it has been further reinforced by Ukraine’s EU candidate status. Ukraine’s future is in the European Union”, said rapporteur Sandra Kalniete (EPP, LV).
Relations between the EU and Ukraine are regulated by an Association Agreement. The Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area included in the agreement has ensured preferential access to the EU market for Ukrainian businesses since 2016.
According to the Commission, the EU is Ukraine’s largest trading partner, accounting for 39.5% of its trade in 2021. Ukraine is the EU’s 15th biggest trading partner, accounting for around 1.2% of the EU’s total trade.
Once approved by the Council of the EU, the measure will be published in the Official Journal of the EU and apply on the day following its publication.