Ukraine and Moldova: Council adopts its negotiating mandate to renew the suspension of import duties and quotas

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The ambassadors of the EU member states agreed today on the Council’s negotiating mandate on two legislative proposals which aim to renew the suspension of import duties and quotas on Ukrainian and Moldovan exports to the EU for another year.

The proposal concerning autonomous trade measures for Ukraine aims to renew the suspension of import duties and quotas for another year (from 6 June 2024 to 5 June 2025), while reinforcing protection for sensitive agricultural products, by beefing up the safeguard measures already included in the current regulation (EU) 2023/1077 and including a new automatic safeguard for certain sensitive products.

The proposal concerning autonomous trade measures for Moldova aims to renew the suspension of import duties and quotas for another year (from 25 July 2024 to 24 July 2025), while reinforcing protection for sensitive agricultural products, by beefing up the safeguard measures already included in the current regulation (EU) 2023/1524.

By renewing these measures, the EU will continue to support and foster the trade flows from Ukraine to the EU and the rest of the world, and will contribute to establishing the conditions for enhanced economic and trade relations leading towards Ukraine’s gradual integration in the EU internal market.

Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine also continues to have a negative impact on Moldova’s ability to trade with the rest of the world. The renewal of these measures will help to maintain the conditions necessary to enable Moldova continue its trade relations with the EU and with the rest of the world via the EU.

Background and next steps

On 31 January 2024, the European Commission (Commissioner for Trade, Valdis Dombrovskis) submitted to the Council the two proposals to renew the suspension of import duties and quotas on Ukrainian and Moldovan exports to the EU for another year.

The Permanent Representatives Committee approved the text of the Commission’s proposal without any modifications, with a view to reaching an agreement at first reading with the European Parliament.

The European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade (INTA) intends to hold a vote on the proposal at its meeting on 7 March 2024. The European Parliament aims to adopt its position at first reading in one of its plenary sessions in April 2024.

The regulations are then to be adopted by the Council, signed by the representatives of the Council and the European Parliament and published in the Official Journal, before entering into force.

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