EU Grants Duty-free Quotas to Ukraine for Meat, Cereals

EU & UKRAINE - As a result of talks on enhanced bilateral cooperation and trade with agricultural products between the EU and Ukraine this week, duty-free tariff rate quotas have been granted to Ukraine for cereals, pork, beef and poultry.
calendar icon 16 May 2014
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EU Farm Commissioner Dacian Ciolos held a meeting with Ukraine’s Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food, Ihor Shvaika, this week to discuss ways to further develop bilateral cooperation and trade.

Speaking after the meeting, Commissioner Ciolos said: “We have held a lengthy discussion today on concrete measures to step up our cooperation for the benefit of Ukrainian farmers and for all those who live in Ukraine’s rural areas. The Minister is clearly committed to achieving tangible results and I am committed to help. A first step has already been taken in the past fortnight, by opening major new trade opportunities for Ukrainian producers exporting onto the EU market.”

A number of senior meetings have taken place in Brussels this week between members of the Commission and the Ukrainian Government.

The European Commission proposed on 11 March to temporarily remove customs duties on Ukrainian exports to the EU. The Commission very much welcomes the entry into force of this regulation on 23 April, following support shown by the European Parliament on 3 April and the Council's adoption of this proposal on 14 April.With this rapid response, the European Commission has shown that it stands shoulder to shoulder with the people of Ukraine.

The benefit of the measures is that they advance the implementation of the tariffs section of the Association Agreement's (AA) provisions on a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) instead of awaiting its entry into force. The preferences are thus not a substitute for the DCFTA and will be granted for a limited period only: until 1 November 2014.

Ukraine does not have to provide extra access to EU exports in return. The temporary elimination of customs duties is total or partial, depending on the sector. The EU's unilateral trade opening requires Ukraine to fully co-operate with the EU in its implementation and ensure that Ukraine does not change in any way its tariffs towards the EU during this period. In addition, a number of safeguard controls are put in place to prevent market-distorting surges impacting adversely on European companies and industry including the agricultural sector.

The annual value of this support measure will be nearly €500 million in tariff reductions, of which almost €400 million accrue to the agricultural sector. For industrial goods, the calendar for liberalisation in the DCFTA foresees the immediate removal of existing tariffs on most products, with exceptions for a few for which a transition period exists, in particular for the automotive sector in the case of Ukraine.

For agricultural goods, ambitious concessions have been made taking into account specific sensitivities. Thus, duty-free tariff rate quotas have been granted to Ukraine for cereals, pork, beef, poultry and a handful of additional products. Even for these sectors, particularly sensitive in the EU, the ATM grant Ukrainian exporters significant opportunities.

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