EU agrees to more Ukraine imports
3-year duty-free entry for agricultural, industrial products
22 July, 2017
Foreign affairs ministers of the EU agreed at a meeting on 17 July to grant Ukraine preferential trade terms from the end of September, for a period of three years. The measure comes in recognition of reform efforts taken by Kiev to bolster the country's fragile economy. Ukraine will have the opportunity to export more industrial and agricultural goods to the bloc free of tariffs.
"We are allowing more Ukrainian products to be exported to the EU," said Sven Mikser, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Estonia, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the bloc. "It is our duty to support Ukraine and strengthen our economic and political ties, also in the face of the ongoing conflict on its soil."
The EU accounted for more than 40% of Ukraine’s trade.
The EU will also remove import duties on fertilisers, dyes, footwear, copper, aluminum, televisions and sound recording equipment for the same period.
The measures broaden the free trade agreement that has been provisionally in place since January 2016.
A week ago, the EU finalised the long-awaited association deal with Ukraine. The pact reportedly aims at creating a free trade area, enhancing cooperation in foreign and security policies between Ukraine and the 28-country bloc.
At the same time, the EU Council highlighted that the deal neither gives Ukraine the status of a candidate country for accession to the bloc nor grants the right for Ukrainians to live or work freely in the EU.
Meanwhile, it became clear that if Ukraine fails to fulfill a number of conditions by the end of October, it may not receive the third tranche of macro-financial assistance from the EU in the amount of €600m, according to Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, deputy prime minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, cited by Interfax-Ukraine.
Ukraine needs to fulfill the following conditions: creation of conditions under which it would be impossible to violate the obligations in the free trade zone with the EU, ending with the creation of an automated system of preliminary verification by the National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP) of electronic declarations using access to all registries, including the State Fiscal Service. The requirement is also to create an open register of unreturned loans.