Council approves the renewal of EU’s autonomous trade measures for Ukraine and Moldova


The Council has given its approval today to suspend the import duties and quotas on exports from Ukraine and Moldova to the EU for another year. This decision reaffirms the EU’s unflinching political and economic support for Ukraine, which has been facing Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression for two years.

At the same time, it strengthens the protection of EU farmers concerning certain sensitive agricultural products. The suspension of import duties and quotas is expected to boost trade in agricultural products, benefiting both Ukraine and Moldova.

On 31st January 2024, the European Commission proposed to extend the suspension of import duties and quotas on all imports from Ukraine and Moldova to the EU for one more year. This proposal was made in the light of Russia’s continuing war of aggression against Ukraine, which has been affecting Moldova as well.

The EU aims to continue to support Ukraine and Moldova economically as both countries were granted EU candidate status in June 2022, and accession negotiations were opened in December 2023.

Support Ukraine and protect EU farmers

The EU has decided to implement autonomous trade measures for Ukraine, starting from 6 June 2024 until 5 June 2025. These measures will involve the suspension of all outstanding customs duties and quotas under Title IV of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement (DCFTA).

Additionally, the Regulation will include two safeguard mechanisms to protect the EU market: a strengthened version of the existing safeguard mechanism will apply on the basis of regular monitoring, allowing the Commission to impose any measure provided that specific conditions are met. This mechanism is designed to swiftly respond to any potential threats to the EU market, ensuring that the suspension of import duties and quotas does not lead to a flood of cheap imports that could harm EU farmers.

Moreover, a new automatic safeguard mechanism will be introduced that will oblige the Commission to reintroduce quotas if imports of poultry, eggs, sugar, oats, maize, groats and honey exceed the arithmetic mean of quantities imported in the second half of 2021, in 2022, and in 2023. This mechanism will provide a predictable and transparent framework for managing imports, balancing the interests of EU farmers and the need for trade with Ukraine.

Trade measures for Moldova

The autonomous trade measures of the EU for Moldova will be effective from 25 July 2024 to 24 July 2025. These measures involve the temporary suspension of all customs duties and quotas under Title V of the Association Agreement. This decision is expected to significantly boost Moldova’s exports to the EU, supporting the country’s economic development and integration with the EU market. Additionally, they strengthen the protection of sensitive agricultural products by enhancing the safeguard mechanism that is already included in the current Regulation. This will help to ensure a fair and balanced trade relationship between the EU and Moldova, protecting the interests of both parties.

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