EU reaffirms trade support for Ukraine and Moldova

The European Commission (EC) proposed on January 31 to renew the suspension of import duties and quotas on Ukrainian exports to the EU for a further year, while reinforcing protection for sensitive EU agricultural products.

This is done in line with EU commitments to support Ukraine for as long as it takes, the EC said,

These Autonomous Trade Measures (ATMs) have been in place since June 2022 and are a key pillar of the EU’s unwavering support for Ukraine and its economy.

“The measures help alleviate the difficult situation faced by Ukrainian producers and exporters as a consequence of Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression,” the statement said.

While the main objective of the ATMs is to support Ukraine, the measures are also mindful of EU farmers’ and other stakeholders’ sensitivities.

To this end, and considering a significant increase in imports of some agricultural products from Ukraine to the EU in 2022 and 2023, the renewed ATMs contain a reinforced safeguard mechanism.

This makes sure that quick remedial action can be taken in case of significant disruptions to the EU market, or to the markets of one or more EU member states, the EC said.

For the most sensitive products – poultry, eggs and sugar – an “emergency brake” is foreseen which would stabilise imports at the average import volumes in 2022 and 2023.

This means that if imports of these products were exceeding those volumes, tariffs would be reimposed to ensure that import volumes do not significantly exceed those of previous years.

In parallel, the Commission proposes to renew by a further year the suspension of all remaining duties on Moldovan imports in force since July 2022.

The proposals will now be considered by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.

The goal is to ensure a seamless transition from the current regime of ATMs to the new one, by the time the current regimes expires on June 5 2024 for Ukraine and July 24 2024 for Moldova, the EC said.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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