European Commission temporarily limits imports of four types of Ukrainian crops
04 May 2023 --- The European Commission (EC) has announced “exceptional and temporary preventative measures” to allow some nations to limit the import of foodstuffs coming from Ukraine and ease logistical bottlenecks.
The restrictions to free food circulation will apply to wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seed and can be enforced in Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, effective from May 2 until 5 June 2023.
During this period, the affected products from Ukraine can continue to be circulated freely in all the other EU countries. They can also transit via the five member states through a standard customs transit procedure or be exported to a country outside the EU.
Furthermore, the EU will unlock a second package of €100 million (US$110.46 million) to support affected farmers.
EC eases stance
Last month, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia banned Ukrainian grain imports to protect domestic farmers in what EU authorities called an “unacceptable unilateral action.”
An EC spokesperson underlined that trade policy is of EU “exclusive competence,” however the EU did not specify if it would take any measure against the rogue countries at the time and now has announced it will provide them with monetary aid.
“Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia have committed to lift their unilateral measures on wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seed and any other products coming from Ukraine,” says the EC.
Upholding food security
Restarting the normal trade of goods will allow the transit of food toward EU nations and third countries.
“While addressing concerns of farmers in those member states neighboring Ukraine, the measures uphold the EU’s strong commitment to support Ukraine and preserve its capabilities to export its grains which are critical to feed the world and keep food prices down, in the face of the huge challenges posed by the unprovoked Russian aggression,” notes the EC.
Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia previously called for the EU to move all surplus grain out of their states toward Africa and the Middle East for humanitarian purposes and to achieve “the original goal of the Solidary Belts.”
This situation has led to increased logistics costs, saturated storage capacities, and disrupted logistical chains. As a result, local producers in those member states have been impacted significantly.
By Marc Cervera
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