The European Parliament has backed a one-year suspension of EU import duties on all Ukrainian exports, to support the country’s economy.
This temporary trade liberalisation, endorsed by 515 votes, with 32 against and 11 abstentions, is a response to the impact of Russia’s war against Ukraine, which is hampering the country’s ability to trade. The measures were expedited to enable early adoption in plenary. They will fully remove import duties on industrial products, entry duties on fruit and vegetables, as well as anti-dumping duties and safeguard measures on steel imports for a period of one year.
“In the face of Russian aggression, Ukraine is fighting not only for its own freedom and security, but for that of all of Europe. Therefore, we must support Ukraine at all levels with every tool at our disposal: not only with weapons and sanctions but with our trading power, too. Giving Ukraine the support it needs to defend itself does not end on the battlefield; it includes ensuring that Ukraine’s economy remains resilient and competitive.Today, we must show that our support for Ukraine is absolute, unshakeable, and irreversible by implementing these unprecedented trade liberalisation measures. Slava Ukraini!”, said Standing Rapporteur for Ukraine Sandra Kalniete (EPP, LV).
Relations between the EU and Ukraine are regulated by an association agreement. The Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area covered by the agreement has ensured preferential access to the EU market for Ukrainian businesses since 2016.
The EU is Ukraine’s most important trading partner, accounting for more than 40% of its total trade in goods in 2021. In return, Ukraine has been the EU’s 15th largest trading partner, representing around 1.2% of overall EU trade.