EU Commission declines Poland's request for export quotas on sensitive goods from Ukraine
Photo: Polish government

The European Commission, despite the protests of Ukraine's neighbors, is preparing a draft resolution on extending the duty-free regime for exports from Ukraine for a year, until the middle of 2025, said Poland's Minister of Agriculture Czeslaw Siekierski. Warsaw's idea of restoring quotas was rejected.

"The problem of negative consequences of imports from Ukraine is becoming more and more visible in the countries of Western Europe and concerns an increasingly wider range of goods, not only grain. France, Austria and Germany speak of a threat to the grain, poultry, fruit and sugar markets. These countries mention, among others, the need to restore tariff quotas, the effect of which is currently suspended according to EU rules. Poland supports these demands, we appealed to the European Commission with a request to restore tariff quotas for some sensitive goods, but it was rejected by the European Commission," Business Insider quoted the minister as saying.

Siekierski is planning to meet with European Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis in the near future.

The Ministry will propose to insert into the European Commission's resolution a new protective mechanism, which will provide for the application of regional restrictions "if the market problem affects not the entire European Union, but one country or region."

Poland is also considering the mechanism for licensing the export of agricultural products proposed by Ukraine. Such a decision, with the support of the European Commission, could be acceptable for Poland, the minister said.

According to Siekierski, there is a political will in Poland to develop transit infrastructure for the export of Ukrainian products.

"We will work on the development of port infrastructure. Previously, unfortunately, there were few significant measures in this area. Therefore, in order to streamline and improve the possibilities of transit of agricultural raw materials from Ukraine, we will have to cooperate with other ministries on the development of port, railway, and warehouse infrastructure," said the official.

Poland expects that the European Union will at least partially finance these measures.

In May 2022, the EU abolished tariffs and quotas on Ukrainian exports for a year, and then continued duty-free trade until the end of 2024.

In parallel, in May 2023, the European Commission introduced a temporary ban on the import of agricultural products from Ukraine to five EU countries: Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria, in order to protect local markets from falling grain prices. The embargo expired on September 15, 2023, but three countries – Poland, Slovakia and Hungary – decided to introduce unilateral bans on Ukrainian grain.

With Romania and Bulgaria, Ukraine managed to agree on a mechanism for the verification and authorization of the export of agricultural products.