Fri. Jul 19th, 2024
Brussels, 2 May 2023

The European Commission has today adopted exceptional and temporary preventive measures on imports of a limited number of products from Ukraine under the exceptional safeguard of the Autonomous Trade Measures Regulation. These measures are necessary given the exceptional circumstances of serious logistical bottlenecks experienced in five Member States. The measures concern only four agricultural products – wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seed – originating in Ukraine. They aim to alleviate logistical bottlenecks concerning these products in Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. The measures will enter into force on 2 May and will last until 5 June 2023.

During this period, wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seed originating in Ukraine can continue to be released for free circulation in all the Member States of the European Union other than the five frontline Member States: Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. The products can continue to circulate in or transit via these five Member States by means of a common customs transit procedure or go to a country or territory outside the EU.

In parallel, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia have committed to lift their unilateral measures on wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seed and any other products coming from Ukraine.

While addressing concerns of farmers in those Member States neighbouring Ukraine, the measures uphold the EU’s strong commitment to support Ukraine and preserve its capabilities to export its grains which are critical to feed the world and keep food prices down, in the face of the huge challenges posed by the unprovoked Russian aggression.

These measures are part of the overall support package that the Commission is putting forward and will be complemented with a financial support for farmers in the five Member States and further measures to facilitate the transit of Ukrainian grain exports via Solidarity Lanes to other Member States and third countries.

The Commission is ready to reimpose preventive measures beyond the expiry of the current Autonomous Trade Measures Regulation on 5 June 2023 as long as the exceptional situation continues.

The Commission is ready to launch an assessment of the situation of the Union market for other sensitive products under the expedited safeguards procedure of the Commission Proposal for the new Autonomous Trade Measures Regulation upon entry into force of this Regulation.

Background

The EU has liberalised temporarily all its imports from Ukraine and suspended its trade defence measures against Ukrainian companies until 5 June 2023. Thanks to these measures, the EU is significantly supporting Ukraine’s war-torn economy. It has also implemented Solidarity Lanes to ensure that Ukrainian grain can reach countries most in need, as Russia’s war of aggression has severely constrained Ukraine’s access to its Black Sea ports. The EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes have become a lifeline for Ukraine’s economy and a new connectivity with the Union, also serving to prevent a global food crisis.

The surge in traffic at the borders between Ukraine and the EU has had an impact on logistics costs and created bottlenecks, resulting in saturated storage capacities and logistical chains. These exceptional circumstances affect the economic viability of local producers in those Member States. The Commission assessed the situation as warranting immediate action pursuant to Article 4(9) of the Autonomous Trade Measures Regulation.

For more information

Commission Implementing Regulation introducing preventive measures concerning certain products originating in Ukraine

EU trade relations with Ukraine

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Source – EU Commission
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