Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2023/903 introducing preventive measures concerning certain products originating in Ukraine

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Series Details L 114I, Pages 1-4
Publication Date 02/05/2023
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Implementing Regulation (EU) 2023/903 - adopted by the European Commission on 2 May 2023 - introducing preventive measures concerning certain products originating in Ukraine.

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Following the launch of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the European Union (EU) adopted Regulation (EU) 2022/870 introducing trade liberalisation measures to support the Ukrainian economy. In particular, it provides for the suspension of all the tariff-rate quotas in the framework of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement (AA). It also provides that the products covered by those quotas are to be admitted for importation into the EU from Ukraine without any customs duties. In order to avoid threats to global food security and to support the establishment of connectivity of Ukraine towards the EU, the European Commission also facilitated the set-up of alternative transport routes, the so-called EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes.

Despite improvements achieved over the months, important logistical bottlenecks still persisted. Logistics costs remained high as a result of insufficient infrastructure in place to handle the surge in traffic at the borders between Ukraine and EU Member States. These dynamics led to a particular sharp increase in imports from Ukraine to the Member States close to Ukraine. These imports saturated the storage capacity and logistical chains in Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. The circumstances affected the economic viability of local producers in those Member States.

In this context, the European Commission deemed necessary to introduce exceptional and temporary preventive measures on imports of a limited number of products from Ukraine pursuant to Article 4(9) of Regulation (EU) 2022/870. The measures concern only four agricultural products – wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seed – originating in Ukraine. From 2 May 2023 until 5 June 2023, these products can continue to be released for free circulation in all the EU Member States other than the five frontline Member States: Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.

These measures were adopted following the introduction of unilateral measures by some of the affected Member States as regards certain imports from Ukraine. The countries committed to lifting those measures in exchange for the solution adopted at an EU-level. The Implementing Regulation was adopted by the European Commission on 2 May 2023 and published on the same day in the Official Journal.

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Commentary and Analysis
European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS): Blog, 19/04/2023: Ukrainian grain import bans explained
Foreign Policy, 20/04/2023: Wheat Is the New Fault Line for Ukraine in Europe
Verfassungsblog, 27/04/2023: The Ukrainian Grain Imports Saga

EurActiv, 21/03/2023: EU triggers crisis fund to bail out farmers hit by Ukraine grain influx
Politico, 07/04/2023: Poland suspends imports of Ukrainian grain
Bloomberg, 15/04/2023: Ukraine Says Polish Ban on Its Grain Violates Recent Agreement
Radio Poland, 15/04/2023: Poland bans import of Ukrainian grain and food products,poland-bans-import-of-ukrainian-grain-and-food-products
RTÉ News, 16/04/2023: EU calls import ban on Ukraine grain by Poland and Hungary 'unacceptable'
EUObserver, 17/04/2023: 'Not possible' to ban Ukraine grain, EU tells Poland, Hungary
BBC News, 17/04/2023: EU rejects Ukraine grain bans by Poland and Hungary
El País, 17/04/2023: EU investigates after three countries ban Ukraine grain imports
The Guardian, 17/04/2023: Slovakia joins Poland and Hungary in halting Ukraine grain imports
Politico, 17/04/2023: Eastern Europeans face Brussels backlash over Ukraine grain bans
EurActiv, 19/04/2023: EU offers €100 million top-up for ‘frontline’ countries after Ukraine import ban
Deutsche Welle, 19/04/2023: Unilateral import bans on Ukrainian grain challenge EU
Associated Press (AP News), 20/04/2023: Hungary adds honey, other products to Ukraine import ban
Euronews, 28/04/2023: EU announces Ukraine grain deal after import bans by five member countries
Notes from Poland (NFP), 28/04/2023: Poland reaches deal with EU on Ukrainian grain imports
Reuters, 29/04/2023: Ukraine says grain import restrictions are 'unacceptable'

European Commission: DG Trade: EU trade relations with Ukraine
European Commission: Press Release, 02/05/2023: Commission adopts exceptional and temporary preventive measures on limited imports from Ukraine

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