The European Union lifted restrictions on the import of Ukrainian grains

Several plastic silos used as temporary storage for grain in the village of Kozyn, kyiv Oblast, Ukraine (REUTERS/Murad Sezer) (MURAD SEZER/)

The European Commission, executive arm of the European Union (EU), decided not to prolong the vetoes imposed on Ukrainian imports of wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower, that they could not stay in the national markets of Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia since May and could only pass through those States if their destination was another country.

Brussels specified in a statement that the vetoes on the four Ukrainian products, in force until next midnight, will expire this Friday and will not be renewed.

However, Ukraine has committed to taking measures to prevent further surges in imports and has agreed to introduce “any legal measures”, including, for example, an export licensing system, within 30 days to avoid sudden increases in grain arrivals.

Until these initiatives are in force, Ukraine will apply from next Saturday “effective measures to control the export” of the four cereals “with the aim of avoid any market distortion” in its neighboring countries belonging to the European Union (Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Hungary).

Kiev will have to present an action plan, at the latest, at the end of the working day next Monday, at the coordination platform that brings together the European Commission, Ukraine and the five EU member states close to the former Soviet republic. , a platform where the problems arising from the rise of Ukrainian imports are addressed.

Foreign vessel in the port of Odesa (Photo: EuropaPress)
Foreign ship in the port of Odessa (Photo: EuropaPress) (-/Ukrinform/dpa/)

The European Commission and Ukraine will also monitor the situation within the framework of the coordination platform “to be able to react to any unforeseen situation.”

“The European Commission will refrain from imposing any restrictions as long as Ukraine’s effective measures are in force and fully functioning,” said the Community Executive, who assured that the distortions in the markets of Poland, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary “have disappeared.”

The European Commission agreed in early May to demands from Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary to halt imports of wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower from Ukraine, which as a result of a war-motivated agreement were free of tariffs. .

The five countries complained that The massive arrival of Ukrainian agri-food products was distorting local markets and harming farmerswhich could not compete with the prices of kyiv goods.

A barge carrying grain is unloaded at the COMVEX terminal at the port of Constanta, in Romania (REUTERS)
A barge carrying grain is unloaded at the COMVEX terminal at the port of Constanta, in Romania (REUTERS) (Inquam Photos/)

Thus, since May, it has been prohibited for the four Ukrainian agri-food products to remain in those five EU countries and be sold in their national markets.

However, they can cross the territory of Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia if the final destination is another member state of the community club or a third country.

The ban was in effect until September 15, so it will expire at midnight.

Ukraine had been complaining bitterly about European restrictions and was pressing for the measures to be suspended. The kyiv government even suggested turning to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over the European bans.

Poland noted that it would extend its national measures even if EU restrictions cease to exist. This is an issue of extreme sensitivity in Poland, a country that will hold elections next month and where the government depends on the support of the regions where agricultural production is concentrated.

Hungary, Slovakia and Romania had also announced that they would maintain the ban, while Bulgaria announced that it was waiving restrictions.

(With information from AFP and EFE)