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Extension of duty-free trade for Ukraine is an extremely important aspect of the EU's political support, – Yuliia Svyrydenko

EU Council finally approves 12-month extension of duty-free trade regime for Ukraine. The regime came into force in June 2022 and will now apply until June 2025. This was announced by the First Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine – Minister of Economy of Ukraine Yuliia Svyrydenko.

"This is an extremely important aspect of political support for Ukraine, despite the sensitivity of the agricultural trade issue. Most Ukrainian goods are exported to the EU without restrictions under the Association Agreement. In particular, all industrial goods are no longer subject to customs duties. The EU's autonomous trade preferences relate to agricultural products that were not fully liberalised in the Agreement. These are 36 categories of goods for which tariff quotas have been provided, as well as goods subject to the entry price system. Since June 2022, these restrictions have been lifted, and now full freedom of trade will be in effect until June 2025," explained Yuliia Svyrydenko.

Also, the EU's autonomous trade preferences stipulate that anti-dumping and safeguard measures will not be applied to metallurgical products.

At the same time, a sharp change in trade flows between Ukraine and the EU, in particular, a sharp increase in trade in certain goods through neighbouring EU member states, has led to a number of negative decisions, including the blocking of the border.

"For a long time now, we have been working with the governments of neighbouring countries and the EU institutions to eliminate these phenomena. In response, the EU Regulation on the extension of autonomous trade preferences contains provisions on special safeguard measures, including automatic measures for corn, poultry, sugar, oats and cereals. The most important thing is that both Ukraine and the EU have agreed that this extension of autonomous trade preferences will be the last one and that by next summer the parties will update the Association Agreement to establish the expected terms of trade for the period before accession to the EU," said Yuliia Svyrydenko.

According to her, such negotiations will cover not only duties on those agricultural products that have not yet been liberalised, but also production standards, so as to remove prejudice against Ukrainian products. The Government will also try to achieve the removal of all temporary measures taken by neighbouring EU member states and Ukraine that contradict the logic of open trade between us.

Currently, the EU accounts for 65% of exports and 51% of imports to Ukraine and is an anchor trading partner for Ukraine.

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