EU: Temporary restrictions on imports of Ukrainian grain, other foodstuffs, for five countries including Bulgaria

The European Commission (EC) adopted on May 2 what it called “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 EC said.

The measures concern 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 EC said.

The measures enter into force on May 2 and will last until June 5 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 EC said.

The products can continue to circulate in or transit via these five EU countries 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, the EC said.

“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,” the EC said.

These measures are part of the overall support package that the EC 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 EC said.

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

The EC said that it was ready to launch an assessment of the situation of the EU 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.

(Photo: Christa Richert/

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