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EU to reinstate tariffs on Ukraine's oats, eggs, eyeing sugar next, Euronews reports

by Olena Goncharova June 20, 2024 5:51 AM 2 min read
Workers load bags of refined white sugar onto an elevator at the ED&F Man Ltd. refinery in Mykolaiv Ukraine. (Vincent Mundy/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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The EU is expected to further curtail imports of key food commodities from war-torn Ukraine, just two weeks after implementing a controversial new preferential trade scheme.

Egg imports from Ukraine have surged to levels that will prompt the Commission to impose restrictions within the next two weeks, an EU spokesperson told Euronews. This follows the recent announcement of restrictions on oat imports from Ukraine, effective until June 5, 2025.

Sugar imports are under scrutiny by the EU executive, according to trade experts familiar with the matter. These actions stem from a recent adjustment — requested and secured by France and Poland — to the temporary suspension of all tariffs and quotas on Ukraine’s agricultural exports, which was introduced following Russia's full-scale invasion in 2022.

"We cannot speculate on the pace of future imports," a spokesperson for the European Commission told Euronews, adding that the EU executive continues to monitor the relevant trigger levels.

In effect since June 6, the new free-trade scheme incorporates an automatic safeguard mechanism designed to protect specific domestic sectors deemed 'sensitive'—including eggs, poultry, sugar, oats, maize, hulled grains, and honey—from a surge in imports due to the lifting of quotas and tariffs.

This allows the European Commission to activate the so-called emergency brake and reintroduce tariff-rate quotas if imports of these commodities surpass the average quantities imported between July 1, 2021, and December 31, 2023.

Minister: Ukraine exported agricultural products worth $22 billion in 2023
According to Vysotskyi, 87% of all agricultural products are being exported from Odesa and adjacent ports.

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