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Brussels, 14 April 2014
European Commission welcomes adoption of temporary tariff cuts for Ukrainian exports to the EU
Statement by EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht
"I'm very pleased that the EU's Foreign Affairs Council has today adopted the Commission's proposal for autonomous trade measures providing tariff preferences for Ukraine. This decision not only expresses our solidarity with the Ukrainian people. It also shows that the EU is willing and capable to take immediate steps to improve the situation of our Eastern neighbours.
Today's decision follows the European Parliament's overwhelming support for this proposal at its plenary session of 2-3 April. The regulation can now be signed into law in the coming days, a record under the ordinary legislative procedure.
The trade preferences, which will apply from the end of April, will remove about half a billion euros of EU customs tariffs a year. They cover 94.7% of current EU tariffs imports of industrial goods from Ukraine and all EU tariffs on Ukraine’s agricultural produce exports to the EU. Only a limited number will be cut within quantitative limits, in other words quotas.
As I said previously, this trade measure will be an important component of the EU's package to help Ukraine during this difficult period. Ukraine doesn't need to reciprocate by removing its own customs duties on imports from the EU, but it mustn't raise them.
Ukrainian exports will, of course, have to comply with EU rules on origin labelling and the Ukrainian authorities will have to ensure that third country goods disguised as Ukrainian ones don't enter the EU via Ukraine. The measure also entitles the EU to reintroduce tariffs if imports from Ukraine flood the EU market in volumes that cause, or threaten to cause, serious difficulties to EU producers of the same goods.
The trade preferences for Ukraine are expected to enter into force in two weeks' time, following publication in the EU Official Journal. They will apply until 1 November 2014 at the latest. We hope that in the meantime the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) part of the agreement will be signed and in force.
In the medium and long term, only the complete trade deal will modernise Ukraine's economy and build the trade ties to Europe that offer a brighter economic and stable future for all Ukrainians."
For further information
Press Release (IP/14/250): European Commission proposes temporary tariff cuts for Ukrainian exports to the EU, 11 March 2014
SPEECH/14/205: Statement by President Barroso on the autonomous trade measures for Ukraine
Press Release (IP/14/219): The European Commission's support package for Ukraine, 5 March 2014
Guide to the EU-Ukraine Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA):
EU-Ukraine Association Agreement – the complete texts
Trade relations between the EU and Ukraine