EU Parliament votes to extend duty exemption for Ukrainian exports
European Parliament. Photo by Patrick Seeger / EPA

The European parliament on Tuesday gave its green light to suspending EU import duties on Ukrainian exports of agricultural products for another year to support the country’s economy.

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The proposal to "renew the suspension of import duties, anti-dumping duties and safeguards on Ukrainian exports to the European Union for another year" was approved by 537 votes, with 42 against and 38 abstentions, the EU parliament said in a statement.

The suspension of tariffs applies to fruits and vegetables subject to the entry price system (a minimum price threshold above which 15 types of imported fresh fruits and vegetables must be sold in the EU), as well as agricultural products and processed agricultural products subject to tariff-rate quotas.

Ukrainian exports of industrial goods have been exempt from duties since the start of this year under the EU-Ukraine association agreement, and are therefore not included in the proposal.

"These measures are pivotal to strengthening Ukraine’s resilience, as we work to advance Ukraine’s gradual integration into the EU internal market," rapporteur Sandra Kalniete, a MEP, was quoted as saying.

"Our solidarity with Ukraine is consistent, transparent, and rock-solid, and it has been further reinforced by Ukraine's EU candidate status. Ukraine's future is in the European Union."

The EU’’s exemption of Ukrainian imports from duties was one of the three most significant factors that had a positive impact on the Ukrainian investment climate last year, the European Business Association said in a statement.

Ukraine is the bloc's 15th largest trading partner, accounting for about 1.2 percent of the EU's total trade.