EU extends trade support for Ukraine for one more year

EU extends trade support for Ukraine for one more year

The Council of the EU has finally approved the extension of Autonomous Trade Measures (ATMs) with Ukraine, which suspends the application of customs duties and quotas on Ukrainian exports to the EU.

That's according to a press release posted on the website of the European Commission, Ukrinform reports.

"The suspension of import duties and quotas on Ukrainian exports to the European Union will be extended for another year, following today's adoption by the Council and April 23 vote in the European Parliament. The EU is thereby delivering once again on its commitment to support Ukraine for as long as it takes," the press release reads.

The ATMs have been in place since June 2022 and are a key pillar of the EU's unwavering support for Ukraine, providing a lifeline to the country's economy through access to the EU market.

At the same time, the measures are also mindful of EU stakeholders' concerns. To this end - and considering a significant increase in imports of some agricultural products from Ukraine to the EU in 2022 and 2023 - the renewed ATMs contain a reinforced safeguard mechanism. It allows for quick remedial action to be taken in case of significant disruptions to the EU market or the markets of one or more Member States.

In addition, an emergency brake applies to eggs, poultry, sugar, oats, maize, groats, and honey, which will be automatically triggered if import volumes reach the average yearly imports recorded between 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2023.

Now that the ATMs are adopted, the Commission is also taking the necessary steps, through consultations with Ukraine under Article 29 of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, to agree on longer term reciprocal tariff liberalization.

According to the press release, this process aims to provide economic certainty and a stable framework for trade to both Ukraine and the EU, as well as to farmers and businesses. This would also represent an important step forward for Ukraine's reconstruction and further integration into the EU internal market, with the ultimate goal of securing the country's future accession to the Union.

The new ATMs will enter into force on 6 June, after the current regime expires on 5 June 2024. They will be in effect until 5 June 2025.

In force since 4 June 2022, the ATMs have had a clear positive effect on Ukraine's trade to the EU. The measures help alleviate the difficult situation faced by Ukrainian producers and exporters as a consequence of Russia's unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression.

Together with the Solidarity Lanes, the ATMs have ensured that trade flows from Ukraine to the EU have remained remarkably stable in 2022 and 2023 despite the major disruptions caused by the war and against the general trend of a decrease of Ukraine's trade overall. EU imports from Ukraine amounted to EUR 22.8 billion in 2023 compared to pre-war levels of EUR 24 billion in 2021.

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