EU to phase out Ukraine grain import ban by September
Ukrainian grain. Photo via EPA

The European Union on Monday decided to extend restrictions on imports of Ukrainian grains and oilseeds for five Eastern European countries until 15 September, promising to phase out the ban by then.

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The EU on May 2 set temporary restrictions on imports of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seed to ease the excess supply of the grains in Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.

"The exceptional and temporary preventive measures" on imports of wheat, maize, rapeseed, and sunflower seed from Ukraine will be gradually lifted, the European commission said in a statement.

"The scope of these measures is further reduced from 17 to 6 tariff lines for the four products covered."

In addition, the suspension of import duties, quotas, and trade defence measures on Ukrainian exports to the EU will be in place for another year, the commission stressed.

"These temporary and targeted measures were adopted due to logistical bottlenecks concerning these products in Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, and on the condition that member states do not maintain any restrictive measures," the statement read.

"The phase out will allow for significant improvements to be made to the Solidarity Lanes and to address challenges to get Ukrainian grain out of the country for this harvest."