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MEPs Approve Further Trade Concessions For Ukraine

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

06 July 2017

The European Parliament has approved a package of additional trade concessions for Ukraine, designed to increase trade flows and foster the country's economic development.

The concessions were approved on July 4 by 566 votes to 96, with 28 abstentions.

A Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, part of a broader Association Agreement, has been provisionally applied since January 2016. It provides for the mutual opening of markets for good and services, although the EU reduces and abolishes duties at a faster rate. The EU is now offering additional trade concessions in view of Ukraine's economic difficulties and its efforts to reform.

Parliament agreed to permit the import into the EU of a range of Ukrainian agricultural products within limited zero-tariff quotas. The products listed by Parliament include natural honey, barley groats, certain barley and worked grains, oats, and grape juice.

The annual additional quota volume of tomatoes will be reduced to from 5,000 to 3,000 tons a year, and the wheat quota will be cut from 100,000 to 65,000. The quotas for maize and barley will also be cut, albeit by smaller margins.

Ukraine's entitlement to the zero-tariff quotas and preferential customs duties will be subject to its compliance with rules of origin requirements, and it must abstain from introducing new or increasing existing duties or charges. It must also demonstrate continued and sustained efforts to fight corruption and illegal activities.

Parliament also stipulated that, subject to an investigation by the Commission, it is necessary to provide for the reintroduction of the Common Customs Tariff duties under the Association Agreement for imports of any products which cause, or threaten to cause, difficulties to EU producers.

Rapporteur Jaroslaw Walesa commented: "The EU offers timely support for Ukraine, while addressing the concerns of our famers too. By granting new concessions, we want to back ongoing reforms, strengthen small and medium enterprises, and provide the necessary impetus for increasing trade flows. I hope this will prove to be both economically and politically advantageous to the people of Ukraine."

TAGS: compliance | law | tariffs | trade treaty | agreements | import duty | trade | European Union (EU) | Ukraine | free trade zone | services | Europe

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