9 Jun 2022 17:48

Ukraine ready to cancel duties completely on EU goods, primarily on agro products - trade representative

MOSCOW. June 9 (Interfax) - Ukraine is ready to cancel duties on European Union goods in response to the EU fully liberating trade for one year, Taras Kachka, Deputy Minister of Economy and Trade Representative of Ukraine, said on Thursday during a meeting of the Committee on Finance, Tax and Customs Policy of the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada.

"We are ready to introduce the mechanism now, so that we could continue discussions on maintaining the zero-to-zero regulations for longer than 12 months," Ukrainian media quoted Kachka as saying.

Kachka added that Ukraine intends foremost to cancel duties on agricultural products from the EU.

The trade representative noted that he sees the need to protect the Ukrainian market from goods from those countries with which there are no preferential terms and conditions of trade.

"We would like to protect ourselves from competing with Turkey, China and other countries with which we do not have preferential trade regulations," Kachka said.

"Therefore, we would like to take this step in order to work with the EU on permanent regulations on customs-free trade; and this is very correct and appropriate as part of our candidacy for EU membership," Kachka stressed.

"This is economically beneficial for us. The only industry where there is an economic imbalance is in pork, though this is likely because of African swine fever, as well as in cheese. We have discussed whether the market should be protected for cheese. On the one hand, there has been an increase in imported cheese in recent years, mainly from Poland, though the overall share of imported cheese does not exceed 25%. There are no clear signs of harm for Ukrainian cheese producers," Kachka added.

The EU on June 4 canceled duties on goods from Ukraine for a year, specifically duties on industrial products, and suspending the entry-price system for fruit and vegetables and all tariff quotas for agricultural products; as well as suspending anti-dumping duties on imported goods originating from Ukraine, and applying global protective measures regarding Ukrainian goods.