EU Provisionally Agrees Ukraine Farm Import Curbs

By Reuters
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EU Provisionally Agrees Ukraine Farm Import Curbs

The European Union provisionally agreed to restrictions on Ukrainian food imports, which some EU members say have destabilised the bloc's agricultural markets.

EU decision-makers have wrangled for weeks on limits to tariff-free access for Ukrainian produce as farmers protested about cheap imports, with some in Poland blocking the border with Ukraine and spilling Ukrainian grain across rail tracks.

EU lawmakers and Belgium, which holds the six-month rotating EU presidency, said they had reached an deal on the curbs. This will still require approval from other EU members and the European Parliament.

'Emergency Brake'

The European Commission proposed in January extending tariff-free access until June 2025, but with a so-called emergency brake for poultry, eggs and sugar to apply tariffs if imports exceeded the average of 2022 and 2023 levels.

Since then, oats, maize, groats and honey have been added, with the average also to be calculated including the second half of 2021. In that year, which was before Russia invaded Ukraine, imports were far lower because tariffs applied.


EU lawmakers and Belgium agreed on that formula on Monday (8 April 2024), an EU diplomat said.

Last month, France and Poland pressed for greater curbs on imports of food products from Ukraine to prevent what they called the destabilisation of EU agricultural markets and further upset for angry farmers.

EU members debated how to grant Ukraine a further year-long extension of tariff-free access to its markets while also placating farmers who have protested for months against EU environmental rules and cheap imports.

Read More: EU To Impose Tariffs On Russian Grain Imports, Sources Say

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