Suspension of EU import duties on Ukrainian exports set for fast-track approval

(Source: European Parliament)

  • Measures concern industrial products, fruit and vegetables, steel
  • Final approval expected on 19 May in plenary
  • The EU is Ukraine’s most important trading partner

The International Trade Committee gave their green light on Monday for a one-year suspension of all EU import duties on Ukrainian exports to support the country’s economy.

MEPs in the International Trade Committee approved a proposal of the temporary trade liberalisation of Ukrainian products, in the wake of Russia’s war of aggression that is hampering Ukraine’s ability to trade with the rest of the world. The measures adopted include the full removal of import duties on industrial products, of entry duties on fruit and vegetables, and of anti-dumping duties and safeguard measures on steel imports for a period of one year.

The committee’s draft report, prepared by standing rapporteur for Ukraine Sandra Kalniete (EPP, LV) was adopted by 38 votes, with one against and three abstentions.

Quote

“The Kremlin’s brutal and unprovoked war has targeted Ukraine’s ability to trade – but the EU can and will step in to help revive bilateral trade. By removing tariffs and opening the European market, we will enhance Ukraine’s ability to trade goods and agricultural products. This move is not merely symbolic: it represents our powerful political commitment to Ukraine. With these unprecedented trade liberalisation measures, we are committed to helping Ukraine maintain its trade position with the rest of the world. When we say that Ukraine is not alone in this struggle – we mean it”, said Sandra Kalniete.

Background

Relations between the EU and Ukraine are regulated by an Association Agreement. The Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area covered by the agreement has ensured preferential access to the EU market for Ukrainian businesses since 2016.

The EU is Ukraine’s most important trading partner, accounting for more than 40% of its total trade in goods in 2021. In return, Ukraine has been the EU’s 15th largest trading partner, representing around 1.2% of overall EU trade.

Next steps

The draft report is expected to be fast-tracked for a vote by all MEPs on 19 May. The measure will apply on the day following its publication in the Official Journal of the EU.

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