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EU considers imposing tariffs on Ukrainian poultry, eggs, and sugar

EU considers imposing tariffs on Ukrainian poultry, eggs, and sugar Illustrative photo (Photo: Getty Images)

The Committee on International Trade of the European Parliament has approved a proposal to extend the temporary suspension of import tariffs and quotas on Ukrainian agricultural products to the EU for another year. Thus, the suspension will continue from June 6, 2024, to June 5, 2025, according to the European Parliament.

According to the decision, as of June 6, there will be no restrictions on the supply of grain from Ukraine. However, the European Commission will be empowered to restrict imports of poultry meat, eggs, and sugar from Ukraine if the volume of imports of these products exceeds the average levels of deliveries for 2022 and 2023.

Restrictions could be introduced through the imposition of tariffs.

It is expected that Parliament will vote on this decision in the first reading at next week's plenary session. Subsequently, the European Council will officially approve the resolution, which will take effect after publication in the Official Journal of the EU.

According to the rapporteur on this issue, Sandra Kalniete, the committee's decision is "a strong signal" of the EU's steadfast support for Ukraine and its people.

"The extension of the EU's trade measures will ensure Ukraine can continue to export its agricultural products to the EU - a crucial lifeline for the Ukrainian economy. At the same time, the proposal includes solid safeguards ensuring our farmers will not be overwhelmed by a sudden surge of imports," she says.

Kalniete has noted that the Commission will be able to reintroduce tariffs or take any other necessary measures if it finds that the import of certain products is leading to market disturbances in the EU. "It is a good balance between continuing our vital support to the Ukraine and the necessary protection of our markets," she emphasizes.

Problems with imports from Ukraine

On June 4, 2022, the regulation on temporary trade liberalization measures came into force. The document temporarily suspends a number of tariffs stipulated in the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU. Due to the regulation, several countries began to suffer losses from an oversupply of goods from Ukraine, leading to protests.

Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary are demanding that the European Commission impose import duties on Ukrainian grain due to alleged unfair competition.

As the Financial Times wrote, Brussels would introduce "protective measures" that would allow the blocking of food from Ukraine if it threatened to lower prices in Poland and other neighboring countries.