The agricultural community calls on the EU to resolve misunderstandings over the situation with Ukrainian agri-food exports
UCAB, together with 23 leading agricultural associations of Ukraine, appealed to Head of the Delegation of the EU to Ukraine Matti Maasikas with a request to facilitate the urgent unblocking of Ukrainian agri-food exports and the removal of obstacles to the imports to the EU and the transit of agricultural products from Ukraine under the Regulation (EU) 2023/903 of May 2, 2023.
As stated in an open appeal, adoption by the European Commission of the Regulation (EU) 2023/903 of May 2, 2023 narrows unilateral discriminatory trade restrictions on importing a wide range of agricultural products from Ukraine, which individual EU member states introduced, to the ban to only the import of wheat, corn, sunflower, and rapeseed to Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, until June 5, 2023. However, some mentioned countries still do not fulfil the agreements reached and continue to delay the import and transit of agricultural products from Ukraine in various ways.
In particular, Poland, despite the cancellation of the unilateral trade restrictions, continues to restrain the import and transit of agricultural products from Ukraine in various ways by requiring escorting, using electronic seals, slowing down veterinary checks, resuming their application to transit cargo, refusing acceptance for transportation by rail transport of goods in wagons with a gauge of 1520 mm with overloading on the territory of Poland, a strike of carriers with physical blocking of border passage, etc. While Hungary made changes to narrow the trade restrictions following Regulation (EU) 2023/903 only after May 12, 2023, the decisions have not yet been implemented; Slovakia has still not lifted the unilateral trade restrictions.
“At the same time, the statements of some politicians of these countries that the temporary trade restrictions on the import of certain agricultural products from Ukraine will be extended after June 5, 2023, are causing concern. In addition, the possibility of expanding and prolonging the ban is linked to the possible trade investigation announced by the European Commission into the growing import of agricultural products from Ukraine.
These misunderstandings should be urgently resolved in the nearest future so that we continue to strengthen our unity in the fight against the russian military aggression of the russian federation against Ukraine and global food challenges”, – noted in the appeal.
Based on the above, the agricultural community calls on the EU to facilitate the resumption of the unhindered export of Ukrainian agri-food under the Regulation (EU) 2023/903 of May 2, 2023.
Also, to provide greater predictability of the format of trade relations for producers of agri-food products and a positive signal to the global food market, Ukrainian farmers ask to inform in advance of the position of the European Commission regarding the terms of trade after June 5, 2023, and the non-extension of the trade restrictions on the import of 4 agri-food products (wheat, corn, sunflower and rapeseed).
Leading public organizations and associations of producers of the agri-food sector of Ukraine hope for a positive solution to this situation and open dialogue with the European community to agreement on the format of further mutually beneficial cooperation.