European Parliament votes to support Ukraine trade into 2024

9 May 2023 | Eoin Hughes

The European Parliament voted on Tuesday to approve extending the suspension of EU import duties on Ukrainian exports of agricultural products for another year.

MEPs approved the Commission’s proposal to renew Autonomous Trade Measures (ATMs) for another year by a large majority.

The ATMs suspend import duties, anti-dumping duties, quotas and safeguards on Ukrainian imports and have been in force since June 2022.

The suspension of tariffs applies to fruits and vegetables subject to the entry price system, as well as agricultural products and processed agricultural products subject to tariff-rate quotas.

The measures will now need to be approved also by the EU Council.

“I strongly support renewing the trade-liberalization measures that currently help ensure Ukrainian trade can continue amidst the brutal war caused by Russia,” European Parliamentary rapporteur Sandra Kalniete said in a statement.

There have been tensions recently around Ukrainian agricultural imports, with the “frontline” EU member states (Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia) seeking to restrict Ukrainian imports due to complaints from local farmers.

The EU Commission agreed with the member states and the Ukrainian government to “propose emergency safeguard measures for the four most sensitive products - wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seed.”

The Commission then temporarily banned the import of these products from Ukraine to the five “frontline” EU members from May 2 to June 5, while maintaining transit of Ukrainian products via these countries.

The Commission said it would reimpose preventive measures after June 5 if the “exceptional” situation continued.

A debate in the European Parliament on these measures should take place Wednesday, May 10.