Ministers of EU member states responsible for trade have finally approved a one-year extension of the elimination of customs duties on Ukrainian grain and other agricultural products.
The Council of the EU approved the one-year renewal of the regulation, in accordance with which one As part of the association agreement between the EU and Ukraine, the Union abolished customs duties on the import of Ukrainian grain. Tariffs were also abolished for other agricultural products subject to tariff quotas and fruit and vegetables subject to the entry price system. The extension will come into effect on June 6, the Council stated.
Thus, virtually all customs duties on goods from Ukraine have been abolished, as most of them were already abolished within the framework of the association agreement before the start of the Russian invasion.
“This regulation is important for the Ukrainian economy, which continues to suffer from Russian aggression. It shows that the EU is ready to stand by Ukraine as long as necessary, including in the area of trade,” said the Swedish Minister for Foreign Trade Johan Forssell.
The executive vice-president of the European Commission also welcomed the extension of the regulation Valdis Dombrovskis. At the same time, he explained that the extension of the regulation also represents the legal basis for the extension of the restriction on the import of wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower seeds into the five eastern EU members, which have found themselves in difficulties due to the elimination of customs duties on Ukrainian grain.
According to Dombrovskis, the Commission has indicated its willingness to extend the emergency measures beyond June 5, which it is now discussing with Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria, as well as Ukraine.
Eastern member states, while restricting the import of certain agricultural products from Ukraine, undertook to eliminate unilateral measures, in the framework of which they mostly banned the import of grain from Ukraine. Hungary has not lifted the ban yet.
Ministers also on relations with the USA and China
At today’s meeting in Brussels, trade ministers also talked about trade relations with the USA and China.
State Secretary at the Ministry of Economy Dejan Židan he supported at the meeting constructive dialogue to implement a positive trade agenda with the US. But it is so like most of those present at the meeting expressed their concern about the slow progress in solving open issues between the trading partners.
He said he did “Slovenia is a distinctly export-oriented country, which is why it is even more sensitive to trade barriers”. He also emphasized that the strength of the EU lies in a strong economy, the ministry said.
“Trade partnerships are important, but the partnership must be balanced. When our trading partners put their own interests before the rules of global trade, it is reasonable to protect ourselves,” he said.
As the ministry also stated, Židan supported the Union’s strategic approach to China in the discussion on relations with China like partner and systemic competitor. He emphasized that in order to solve the open issues regarding the improvement of trade and investment relations with China and the reduction of the EU’s dependence on the Chinese market, constructive dialogue at all levels, as well as coordinated activities.